29 USC 1854 - Private right of action
Sec. 1854. Private right of action(a)
Maintenance of civil action in district court by aggrieved person
Any person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter or any regulation under this chapter by a farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, agricultural association, or other person may file suit in any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the parties, without respect to the amount in controversy and without regard to the citizenship of the parties and without regard to exhaustion of any alternative administrative remedies provided herein.
Appointment of attorney and commencement of action
Upon application by a complainant and in such circumstances as the court may deem just, the court may appoint an attorney for such complainant and may authorize the commencement of the action.
Award of damages or other equitable relief; amount; criteria; appeal
(1) If the court finds that the respondent has intentionally violated any provision of this chapter or any regulation under this chapter, it may award damages up to and including an amount equal to the amount of actual damages, or statutory damages of up to $500 per plaintiff per violation, or other equitable relief, except that
(A) multiple infractions of a single provision of this chapter or of regulations under this chapter shall constitute only one violation for purposes of determining the amount of statutory damages due a plaintiff; and
(B) if such complaint is certified as a class action, the court shall award no more than the lesser of up to $500 per plaintiff per violation, or up to $500,000 or other equitable relief.
(2) In determining the amount of damages to be awarded under paragraph (1), the court is authorized to consider whether an attempt was made to resolve the issues in dispute before the resort to litigation.
(3) Any civil action brought under this section shall be subject to appeal as provided in chapter 83 of title 28.
Workers’ compensation benefits; exclusive remedy
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, where a State workers’ compensation law is applicable and coverage is provided for a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker, the workers’ compensation benefits shall be the exclusive remedy for loss of such worker under this chapter in the case of bodily injury or death in accordance with such State’s workers’ compensation law.
(2) The exclusive remedy prescribed by paragraph (1) precludes the recovery under subsection (c) of this section of actual damages for loss from an injury or death but does not preclude recovery under subsection (c) of this section for statutory damages or equitable relief, except that such relief shall not include back or front pay or in any manner, directly or indirectly, expand or otherwise alter or affect
(A) a recovery under a State workers’ compensation law or
(B) rights conferred under a State workers’ compensation law.
Expansion of statutory damages
If the court finds in an action which is brought by or for a worker under subsection (a) of this section in which a claim for actual damages is precluded because the worker’s injury is covered by a State workers’ compensation law as provided by subsection (d) of this section that—
(A) the defendant in the action violated section 1841 (b) of this title by knowingly requiring or permitting a driver to drive a vehicle for the transportation of migrant or seasonal agricultural workers while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of title 21) and the defendant had actual knowledge of the driver’s condition, and
(B) such violation resulted in injury to or death of the migrant or seasonal worker by or for whom the action was brought and such injury or death arose out of and in the course of employment as determined under the State workers’ compensation law,
(A) the defendant violated a safety standard prescribed by the Secretary under section 1841 (b) of this title which the defendant was determined in a previous judicial or administrative proceeding to have violated, and
(B) such safety violation resulted in an injury or death described in paragraph (1)(B),
(i) the defendant willfully disabled or removed a safety device prescribed by the Secretary under section 1841 (b) of this title, or
(ii) the defendant in conscious disregard of the requirements of section 1841 (b) of this title failed to provide a safety device required under such section, and
(B) such disablement, removal, or failure to provide a safety device resulted in an injury or death described in paragraph (1)(B), or
(A) the defendant violated a safety standard prescribed by the Secretary under section 1841 (b) of this title,
(B) such safety violation resulted in an injury or death described in paragraph (1)(B), and
(C) the defendant at the time of the violation of section 1841 (b) of this title also was—
(i) an unregistered farm labor contractor in violation of section 1811 (a) of this title, or
(ii) a person who utilized the services of a farm labor contractor of the type specified in clause (i) without taking reasonable steps to determine that the farm labor contractor possessed a valid certificate of registration authorizing the performance of the farm labor contracting activities which the contractor was requested or permitted to perform with the knowledge of such person,
the court shall award not more than $10,000 per plaintiff per violation with respect to whom the court made the finding described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4), except that multiple infractions of a single provision of this chapter shall constitute only one violation for purposes of determining the amount of statutory damages due to a plaintiff under this subsection and in the case of a class action, the court shall award not more than the lesser of up to $10,000 per plaintiff or up to $500,000 for all plaintiffs in such class action.
Tolling of statute of limitations
If it is determined under a State workers’ compensation law that the workers’ compensation law is not applicable to a claim for bodily injury or death of a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker, the statute of limitations for bringing an action for actual damages for such injury or death under subsection (a) of this section shall be tolled for the period during which the claim for such injury or death under such State workers’ compensation law was pending. The statute of limitations for an action for other actual damages, statutory damages, or equitable relief arising out of the same transaction or occurrence as the injury or death of the migrant or seasonal agricultural worker shall be tolled for the period during which the claim for such injury or death was pending under the State workers’ compensation law.
Last modified: July 21, 2011