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Another Win for the Wages of an Illegal Immigrant

November 18, 2008

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In yet another ruling on the wage claim of an illegal immigrant who used a fake social security card to get hired, a New York appellate court has ruled in favor of the claimant. In Coque v. Wildflower Estates Developers, the plaintiff wrongly submitted a fake social security card to gain employment, but his wrong was offset by the employer's wrong in failing to follow the law and verifying his bona fides. The plaintiff was injured at work in a gravity-related accident, which triggered liability under Labor Law section 240. The Second Department court ruled that "an employer should not be rewarded for its failure to comply with federal immigration law by being relieved of liability for its failure to provide a safe workplace." Moreover, said the court, where an employer is complicit in the hiring of an illegal alien, allowing that employer to avoid paying a wage claim would only encourage further illegal hiring by the employer.

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