Ruiz Torres v. Mercer Canyons, No. 15-35615 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a putative class action against Mercer, alleging that Mercer had a common policy or practice of failing to inform domestic farm workers of the availability of H-2A work that paid $12 per hour, in violation of the Agricultural Workers’ Protection Act (AWPA), 29 U.S.C. 1831(e) and 1821(f), and the Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA), Wash. Rev. Code 19.86.020. Plaintiffs also alleged that Mercer failed to pay its own domestic workers $12 per hour when they carried out the same tasks as foreign H-2A workers, in violation of AWPA and state wage laws.The district court certified an Inaccurate Information class and an Equal Pay subclass, corresponding to plaintiffs’ claims. In regard to the Inaccurate Information class, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion by finding common questions and in finding that common issues predominated under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3). In regard to the Equal Pay subclass, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion by identifying a common question of fact concerning whether Mercer’s domestic workers were consistently paid $12 per hour for H-2A work. Finally, the court concluded that the district court did not err in finding that the typicality requirement was met in this case. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.