Shahid Haque


The Supreme Court's decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB significantly restricted the remedies available to undocumented workers under the National Labor Relations Act. The decision highlights the tension between labor laws and immigration policy; the Court held that an undocumented worker should not recover remedies under the NLRA when employment was obtained in the first place by violating federal immigration law. This Note argues for three changes to the current system in order to fulfill the immigration policy articulated in Hoffman regarding undocumented workers and the remedies they may receive for wrongful employer conduct. First, the National Labor Relations Board should ascertain the immigration status of claimants before the Board seeks remedies on their behalf. Second, because the Board has created artificial distinctions in order to construe the Hoffman decision as narrowly as possible, the Board should extend the Hoffman reasoning to employment scenarios the Court did not have opportunity to review. Finally, in order to serve the interests of current immigration policy and balance out the removal of the backpay penalty for employer misconduct, Congress should amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to increase the penalties for violations of the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

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