California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Immigration

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Foreign National Who Worked For Travel Tour Company Was An Employee, Not An Intern Or Exempt Manager

Kao v. Joy Holiday, 2017 WL 2590653 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Ming-Hsiang Kao was employed by Joy Holiday (a travel tour company) initially performing IT-related duties and then eventually as its office manager. While he was still in Taiwan, Kao worked with Jessy Lin (one of the owners of Joy Holiday) as a tour organizer. … Continue Reading

Employer’s Attorney May Be Liable For Retaliation Under FLSA

Arias v. Raimondo, 2017 WL 2676771 (9th Cir. 2017) José Arnulfo Arias worked as a milker for Angelo Dairy. The dairy did not complete and file a Form I-9 when it hired Arias. According to the appellate court, “[i]nstead of complying with federal law, the Angelos wielded it as a weapon to confine Arias in … Continue Reading

Immigration-Related Protections Expanded

This bill makes it unlawful for an employer to request more or different documents than are required under federal immigration law, to refuse to honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine, to refuse to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of status that accompanies … Continue Reading

The Word “Alien” Is Stricken From The California Labor Code (SB 432)

Section 1725 of the California Labor Code defines “alien” as “any person who is not a born or fully naturalized citizen of the United States.” Section 2015 sets forth the “preference for employment” for the extension of public works by the state and requires the extension of such preference “First, to citizens of this State. … Continue Reading

Immigrant Who Used Someone Else’s SSN To Obtain Employment Was Properly Deported To Mexico

Ibarra-Hernandez v. Holder, 770 F.3d 1280 (9th Cir. 2014) Gloria Ibarra-Hernandez, a native and citizen of Mexico, sought review of a final order of removal from the United States after the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “Board”) held that she was ineligible for cancellation of removal following her conviction for taking the identity of another … Continue Reading

“Unauthorized Alien” Who Provided False SSN Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Salas v. Sierra Chem. Co., 2014 WL 2883878 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Vicente Salas worked on Sierra Chemical’s production line, filling containers with various chemicals. At the time of his hire, Salas provided Sierra with a resident alien card and a Social Security card and signed an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form). After allegedly … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Limits Recovery for Employees Who Misrepresent Their Immigration Status

On June 26, 2014, the California Supreme Court handed down Salas v. Sierra Chemical, a case at the intersection of employment and immigration law. Salas, a former employee of Sierra Chemical, filed suit alleging disability discrimination and wrongful termination. Prior to trial, Salas notified the court that he would assert a Fifth Amendment privilege to … Continue Reading

Arizona Law Requiring Use Of E-Verify Is Upheld

Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 563 U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 1968 (2011) In 1996, Congress created E-Verify, which is “an internet-based system that allows an employer to verify an employee’s work-authorization status.” In 2007, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which allows Arizona to suspend or revoke the licenses necessary to do business … Continue Reading

Employer Could Proceed With Defamation And Interference Claims Against Employees Who Protested Their Termination

Overhill Farms, Inc. v. Lopez, 190 Cal. App. 4th 1248 (2010) After the IRS notified Overhill Farms that 231 of its then-current employees had provided invalid social security numbers, Overhill contacted the employees identified by the IRS, advised them that their social security numbers were invalid according to the IRS, and provided them with the … Continue Reading

Detention Officers’ State Law Wage Claims Were Not Subject To Exclusive Federal Remedy

Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Services, 172 Cal. App. 4th 654 (2009) Gustavo Naranjo worked as a detention officer for Spectrum, which provides security services in holding facilities and detention centers throughout Los Angeles County under a contract with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The terms of Spectrum’s contract with ICE rely on wage and … Continue Reading

State Law Sanctioning Employers That Hire Illegal Aliens Is Not Preempted By Federal Immigration Law

Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. v. Napolitano, 544 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2008) In 2007, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act (the “Act”), which targets employers that hire illegal aliens and provides a principal sanction in the form of a revocation of state licenses to do business in Arizona. Various businesses and civil-rights organizations filed this … Continue Reading

Employer Breached Contract By Quickly Terminating Employees With “No Match” Letters From Social Security

Aramark Facility Services v. SEIU, 530 F.3d 817 (9th Cir. 2008) Aramark received letters from the Social Security Administration indicating that information relating to 48 of Aramark’s employees at Staples Center did not match the SSA’s database. Suspecting immigration violations, Aramark told the employees they had three days to correct the mismatches by proving they had … Continue Reading

Employer Could Not Inquire Into Plaintiffs’ Immigration Status In Title VII Lawsuit

Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 364 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2004) Twenty-three Latina and Southeast Asian female immigrants had been employed at NIBCO’s factory in Fresno and were terminated following their poor performance on a basic job skills examination that was given in English. The employees alleged discrimination under Title VII and the California Fair Employment … Continue Reading

Agricultural Workers May Sue Employers For Violation Of RICO

Mendoza v. Zirkle Fruit Co., 301 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 2002) The prospective class of legally documented agricultural workers in this case alleged that their employers had depressed their wages by way of an “Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme,” pursuant to which the employers knowingly hired workers of illegal status who were willing to accept below-market … Continue Reading

Undocumented Alien Is Not Entitled To Backpay Award Under NLRA

Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002) The employer in this case, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc., was found to have violated Section 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it selected four known union supporters for layoff. During a compliance hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), one of the … Continue Reading
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