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News: The Supreme Court hears Oral Argument in Mohawk Industries Case

The Supreme Court hears Oral Argument in Mohawk Industries Case
On Wednesday, April 25th, the United States Supreme Court heard argument in Mohawk Industries v. Williams, the class action suit that I have discussed in several earlier postings on this site. The case involves Mohawk Industries, a Georgia carpet manufacturer in a suit brought under RICO by both current and former employees who claim that Mohawk has, with the help of outside recruiting and temp agencies, hired illegal aliens to depressed wages. The suit claims that the alleged actions by Mohawk constituted racketeering as defined under RICO.

The RICO law was amended by Congress in 1996 to include the hiring of illegal aliens and the employees have asserted that Mohawk, by allegedly associating with outside recruiters to hire the illegal aliens, fit the requirements to make out a civil RICO claim. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the employees, as did the Bush administration.

The attorney for the employees argued that all circuit courts that have ruled on the issue have adopted a broad scope of RICO that would include corporations like Mohawk, but business lawyers have warned that if the Court sides with the employees and against Mohawk, RICO will become another tool for suing employers and not just in immigration matters.

As I indicated in earlier postings, I will provide updates, including, of course, the Court's ruling, as soon as it is issued.



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