As reported in the New York Law Journal, A At issue was whether the nurses had to pursue their claims individually or whether they could proceed in one class action lawsuit. By allowing the case to continue as a class, the lawsuit could lead to greater damage awards against Sentosa Care since it is generally easier for plaintiffs to pursue litigation together. The plaintiff’s lawyer says that 200 H-1B nurses could now bring their claims. a group of Filipino H-1B nurses to continue their lawsuit against Sentosa Care as a “certified class.”
The The substantive issue is whether Sentosa’s pursuit of a damage clause in the employment contractual clause rises to the standard of violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The employment agreement entitled Sentosa to $25,000 in liquidated damages if the nurses left Sentosa’s employment prior to fulfilling the three-year contract. .
The nurses allege two claims:
- Because the nurses were not paid the contractual wage from the time that they began working, the employment agreements were breached. Therefore, Sentosa’s pursuit of the $25,000 violates several provisions of the TVPA.
- Even if the agreements were not breached, the $25,000 itself is so far above Sentosa’s actual damages that pursuit of the $25,000 violates several provisions of the TVPA. The judge notes that there is some evidence that Sentosa only spent a few thousand dollars per nurse.