Case: Phillips v. Brock

1:85-cv-02742 | U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Filed Date: June 25, 1985

Closed Date: 1988

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 25, 1985, domestic farmworkers brought a nationwide class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland seeking declaratory and injunctive relief requiring agricultural employers who hired temporary alien workers under the "H-2" program to provide free housing for U.S. workers. Plaintiffs maintained that the Department of Labor's interpretation of regulation 20 C.F.R. § 655.202(b)(1) as not requiring free employer-provided housing for domestic workers, was directly cont…

On June 25, 1985, domestic farmworkers brought a nationwide class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland seeking declaratory and injunctive relief requiring agricultural employers who hired temporary alien workers under the "H-2" program to provide free housing for U.S. workers. Plaintiffs maintained that the Department of Labor's interpretation of regulation 20 C.F.R. § 655.202(b)(1) as not requiring free employer-provided housing for domestic workers, was directly contrary to the regulation's plain language.

The Department of Labor denied the allegations and sought dismissal of the case. The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and the United States Sugar Corporation intervened in support of the defendant. By an order dated June 18, 1986, the Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss, ruling that it could not determine the issue presented until the parties developed the facts of the case.

Plaintiffs moved for class certification, and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The District Court (Chief Judge Alexander Harvey, II) certified the case as a nationwide class action, but entered judgment for defendants and intervening defendants. Phillips v. Brock, 652 F.Supp. 1372 (D.Md.1987). Plaintiffs appealed.

While the case was on appeal, the Department of Labor published an interim final rule, C.F.R. § 655.102(b)(1) (1988), that created a new "H-2A" program. The new rule contained a provision which required employers in the program to provide housing to domestic workers "who are not reasonably able to return to their residence within the same working day."

The Court of Appeals (Chief Judge Harrison L. Winter) held in light of the new interim final rule, the plaintiffs' claims were moot. The District Court judgment was vacated and remanded with instructions to enter an order dismissing this action as moot. Phillips v. McLaughlin, 854 F.2d 673 (4th Cir. 1988).

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (11/19/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Harvey, Alexander II (Maryland)

Murnaghan, Francis Dominic Jr. (Maryland)

Ramsey, Norman Park (Maryland)

Winter, Harrison Lee (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Geffert, Garry C. (West Virginia)

Schell, Gregory Scott (Florida)

Schofield, Robert M (District of Columbia)

Tuddenham, Edward J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Arnell, Wendy P (Maryland)

Buckley, Frank (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Harvey, Alexander II (Maryland)

Murnaghan, Francis Dominic Jr. (Maryland)

Ramsey, Norman Park (Maryland)

Winter, Harrison Lee (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Geffert, Garry C. (West Virginia)

Schell, Gregory Scott (Florida)

Schofield, Robert M (District of Columbia)

Tuddenham, Edward J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Arnell, Wendy P (Maryland)

Buckley, Frank (District of Columbia)

Feldman, Allen H (District of Columbia)

Gisriel, Thomas J (Maryland)

Hennemuth, Jeffrey A. (District of Columbia)

Kelso, Charles (Georgia)

Lemmer, Don S (Georgia)

Mandel, Steven J (District of Columbia)

Pointer, Ann Margaret (Georgia)

Salem, George R (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Garcia, Isidro (Florida)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Feb. 4, 1987 Docket

[Opinion]

652 F.Supp. 1372

Feb. 3, 1987 Order/Opinion

Appellate Opinion

Phillips v. McLaughlin

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

854 F.2d 673

Aug. 19, 1988 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Maryland

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 25, 1985

Closing Date: 1988

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons who, whether U.S. nationals, citizens or aliens, are legally permitted to work permanently in the U.S. and who, since 1981, have sought or will seek employment with any agricultural employers under the “H-2 program.”

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Department of Labor, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Employment