Nichole Atallah, a Partner in the Labor & Employment Group at PilieroMazza, discussed with Law360 the specifics of a Ninth Circuit case regarding the employment status of civil immigration detainees and the impact this case could have on federal government contractors working in this space.

The central issue is whether immigrant detainees performing services at the detention center managed by a federal government contractor should be classified as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In this case, the Service Contract Act and related minimum wage rules for government contractors would also likely apply, significantly increasing the cost of performing the work. If a court were to rule that detainees were employees, “you can have rapidly escalating wage liability if your number of employees, in quotation marks, increases substantially,” Nichole said.

Excerpt taken from the article “3 Questions About Employee Status Of Workers Behind Bars,” by Daniela Porat for Law360. Visit this link for the full article (subscription required).