Use Contracts to Protect Yourself from Possible Liability for Undocumented Workers Employed by Subcontractors

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A recent, highly publicized incident involving Wal-Mart sheds light on the potential liability employers face when using independent contractors who employ undocumented workers. There, federal agents raided over 60 store locations throughout the country and detained more than 240 workers. The workers were mainly janitorial employees of independent contractors hired by Wal-Mart. The government alleged, in part, that Wal-Mart had developed a fraudulent scheme to use independent contractors employing undocumented workers to evade the requirements of IRCA. Ultimately, the Wal-Mart matter settled for over $11,000,000.

There are some easy steps that a general contractor can take to minimize its potential liability for the employment of unauthorized workers by its subs.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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