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Cruz v. Maypa

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

December 1, 2014

CRISTINA FERNANDEZ CRUZ, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
NILDA J. MAYPA; MICHELLE BARBA, a/k/a Michelle Maypa; FERDINAND BARBA, Defendants - Appellees

Argued September 17, 2014

Page 139

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 140

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. (1:13-cv-00862-CMH-IDD). Claude M. Hilton, Senior District Judge.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded by published opinion.

DAMAYAN MIGRANT WORKERS ASSOCIATION, INC.; FREEDOM NETWORK (USA); SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, Amici Supporting Appellant.

ARGUED:

Christopher Brett Leach, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellant.

Timothy Joseph Battle, Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellees.

ON BRIEF:

Dana Sussman, SAFE HORIZON, Brooklyn, New York; Joseph D. West, W. Jeremy Robison, Marisa C. Maleck, Kathryn E. Hoover, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellant.

Mark B. Helm, Amelia L.B. Sargent, Los Angeles, California, Ellen M. Richmond, Nathan M. Rehn, MUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP, San Francisco, California, for Amici Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Inc., and Freedom Network (USA).

Traci Lovitt, Boston, Massachusetts, Alison B. Marshall, Washington, D.C., Rachel S. Bloomekatz, JONES DAY, Columbus, Ohio, for Amicus Senator Marco Rubio.

Before GREGORY, AGEE, and KEENAN, Circuit Judges. Judge Gregory wrote the opinion, in which Judge Agee and Judge Keenan joined.

OPINION

Page 141

GREGORY, Circuit Judge:

Cristina Fernandez Cruz appeals the dismissal of her claims against defendants-appellees Nilda J. Maypa, Michelle Barba (" Mrs. Barba" ), and Ferdinand Barba (" Mr. Barba" ) under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (" TVPA" ), 18 U.S.C. § § 1589, 1590, 1595 (2012), the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. § § 206, 216 (2012), and Virginia contract law. Cruz alleges that she was forced to work for the defendants for wages well below the minimum from 2002 until her escape in 2008. The district court dismissed all of her claims as time-barred. We affirm the district court's dismissal of Cruz's state law claims, but we reverse the dismissal of her TVPA and FLSA claims and remand for further proceedings.

I.

Because we are reviewing a grant of a motion to dismiss, we must take the following facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. McCauley v. Home Loan Inv. Bank, F.S.B.,710 F.3d 551, 554 (4th Cir. 2013). Cruz is a citizen of the Philippines, where she lived until 2002. She speaks Tagalog and Kapampangan fluently, and speaks limited English. Cruz is the primary provider for her young daughter and her elderly parents, all of whom reside in the Philippines. In 2001, a friend told Cruz about an opportunity to travel to the United States to work for Maypa, who at the time was an employee of the World Bank. Cruz submitted her resume, and Maypa hired her soon after. About a month later, Maypa faxed Cruz an employment contract, which provided that Cruz would be employed as a domestic employee at Maypa's residence for two years at a rate of $6.50 an hour. It stated that Cruz would work ...


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