The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in a class-action racketeering lawsuit filed against Calhoun-based Mohawk Industries.
The decision returns the case for trial in U.S. District Court, Rome, where the suit was filed in January 2004.
Four hourly employees are accusing the carpet and floor-covering company of hiring illegal immigrants in an effort to drive down wages for its legal workers.
They are asking the court to stop the alleged illegal-hiring practice and to award triple damages under the federal and state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations acts.
The company has denied the charges and gained dismissals of claims that it received unjust enrichment from savings on wages and workers compensations.
But both U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Mohawks request for dismissal of the RICO charges.
With the Supreme Court declining to review those decisions, it clears the way for the 3-year-old civil case to resume.
The petitioners Shirley Williams, Lora Sisson, Gale Pelfrey and Bonnie Jones are represented by attorney John Floyd of the Atlanta law firm Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLC.
The case now proceeds on its merits, Floyd said. We can begin discovery and, hopefully, move forward on certification of the (class-action status).
Attorneys for Mohawk, in Calhoun and Washington D.C., could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.