The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a putative class action complaint brought by former state-court criminal defendants which alleged violations of federal and state statutes over labor they performed as part of a court ordered drug and alcohol treatment program.

The former criminal defendants were sentenced to a treatment program run by Christian Alcoholics and Addicts in Recovery (CAAIR), where they performed labor for private entities including Simmons Foods and Simmons Pet Food, a poultry processing plant and affiliated pet food company, according to the opinion. In their complaint, the former defendants alleged that CAAIR and Simmons violated federal and state statutes prohibiting forced-labor and requiring payment of minimum wages.

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