Former detainee Chao Chen filed the class-action federal lawsuit Tuesday against The GEO Group, the for-profit company that operates the Northwest Detention Center.
A second lawsuit is challenging the failure of one of the nation’s largest private immigration jails to pay detainees minimum wage for the work they perform.
Former detainee Chao Chen filed the class-action federal lawsuit Tuesday against The GEO Group, the for-profit company that operates the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the company in state court last week, alleging violations of Washington’s minimum wage law.
GEO says the center has a volunteer work program and minimum wages rates and standards specified exclusively by the federal government under standards set for detainees in 2011.
The company pays $1 per day to detainees for kitchen, cleaning and janitorial tasks at the 1,500-bed facility. Chen, a Chinese citizen who was detained from 2014 to 2016, is a legal permanent resident of the U.S. and lives in Renton.
Most Read Local Stories
- Weather drama on the way: Lots of rain in Seattle, snow in the Cascades, wind at the coast
- Seattle City Council approves plan for UW to build 6 million square feet, add high-rise district
- Seattle zoning's urban-suburban divide: Here's how the city's two halves are changing | FYI Guy
- After the viaduct: Seattle's vision for waterfront up in the air because some property owners don't want to pay
- SeaTac Councilmember Amina Ahmed dies in car crash 7 weeks after joining council