University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Daniel Castellanos-Contreras v. Decatur Hotels, LLC IM-LA-0005
Docket / Court 2:06-cv-04340-EEF-SS ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On August 16, 2006, attorneys with the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Louisiana Justice Institute, and the National Immigration Law Center filed a class action lawsuit in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of about 300 H-2B ... read more >
On August 16, 2006, attorneys with the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Louisiana Justice Institute, and the National Immigration Law Center filed a class action lawsuit in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of about 300 H-2B guest workers who traveled to the U.S. to work in luxury hotels in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Plaintiffs alleged that their employer, Decatur Hotels, L.L.C., violated the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. by failing to reimburse them during their first week of employment for travel, visa, recruitment, and other expenses incurred in migrating to the U.S.

The District Court (Judge Eldon E. Fallon) determined the issue in Plaintiff's favor. The Court certified the matter so that defendants could take an immediate appeal. Castellanos-Contreras v. Decatur Hotels, L.L.C., 488 F.Supp.2d 565 (E.D.La. 2007).

The U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, reversed the District Court's judgment and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of appellants. Castellanos-Contreras v. Decatur Hotels LLC, 622 F.3d 393, 403 (5th Cir. La. 2010). Specifically, the Court found that no statute or regulation expressly states that inbound travel expenses must be advanced or reimbursed by an employer of an H-2B worker, no law or regulation provides that fees for the employee side of the visa application process must be paid by the employer, and no statute or regulation requires an employer to provide reimbursement for job placement firm fees paid by employees. This case is closed.

Dan Dalton - 07/20/2012


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Immigration
Employer sanctions
Employment
Temporary foreign workers program
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219
Defendant(s) Decatur Hotels, LLC
Plaintiff Description H-2B guest workers who traveled to the U.S. from foreign countries to work in luxury hotels in New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:06-cv-04340-EEF-SS (E.D. La.) 10/28/2010
IM-LA-0005-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint - Collective Action 08/24/2006
IM-LA-0005-0002 PDF | Detail
NLRB Charge against Employer 08/25/2006
IM-LA-0005-0001 PDF | Detail
Order & Reasons 05/16/2007 (488 F.Supp.2d 565) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0005-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
ORDER 03/20/2009 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0005-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana 10/01/2010 (622 F.3d 393)
IM-LA-0005-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Benavides, Fortunato Pedro (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Davis, W. Eugene (W.D. La., Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Dennis, James L. (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Elrod, Jennifer Walker (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Fallon, Eldon E. (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0005-0004 | IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Garza, Emilio M. (W.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Haynes, Catharina (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Jolly, E. Grady (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Jones, Edith Hollan (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
King, Carolyn Dineen (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Owen, Priscilla Richman (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Prado, Edward Charles (W.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Shushan, Sally A. (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0005-9000
Southwick, Leslie (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Stewart, Carl E. (Fifth Circuit)
IM-LA-0005-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Mary C. (Alabama)
IM-LA-0005-0002 | IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0005-0002 | IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Guizar, Monica T. (California)
IM-LA-0005-9000
Rosenbaum, Jennifer J. (Alabama)
IM-LA-0005-0002 | IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Turner, Andrew Hess (Alabama)
IM-LA-0005-0002 | IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Washington, Tracie L. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0005-0002 | IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ehret, Leslie Weill (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Fantaci, Michael L. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Kovach, Ellen Shirer (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Stine, James Larry (Georgia)
IM-LA-0005-0005 | IM-LA-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -