Lawsuit against Mohawk to move forward

A lawsuit by Mohawk Industries Inc. employees claiming the carpet manufacturer depressed wages by hiring illegal immigrants has been returned to a federal judge to reconsider his denial of class-action status. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, hearing issues of the 5-year-old suit for the third time, ruled Thursday that Judge Harold Murphy of Rome erred in deciding there were no predominate common issues among thousands of employees at various Mohawk plants to constitute a class. A three-judge panel said Murphy needs to consider expert testimony. The 11th Circuit already had ruled that Mohawk can be considered an enterprise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. The Supreme Court declined to hear the company’s appeal on that issue in February 2007.