Immigrant Detainees minimum wage
Immigrant Detainees, the Associated Press reports that a federal jury has determined that the GEO Group, must pay minimum wage rather than $1 a day to prisoner who perform tasks like cooking and cleaning at its for profit custody center in Washington state. The judge, who rejected several attempts by GEO to dismiss the lawsuits, consolidated the cases for trial. The detention center houses people who are awaiting civil immigration proceedings. The money will reimburse detainee workers and Tacoma community members, according to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. The Florida-based for-profit prison company paid detainees $1 a day for such work, a practice the jury determined earlier this week is a violation of the state’s minimum wage law. On Friday, they announced how much back pay was owed. The GEO Group argued that the detainees were not employees under Washington law, and that the state itself pays less than minimum wage to prisoners in its corrections facilities. The state minimum wage law exempts people living in “state, county or municipal” detention facilities. The Tacoma site is federal, and owned by a private company.