NLRB Finds that Unauthorized Workers Cannot Receive Backpay for Labor Law Violations, Regardless of Whether the Employer or Employees Violated Immigration Laws


In Mezonos Maven Bakery Inc., the National Labor Relations Board held that it cannot order backpay to individuals unauthorized to work in the United States, regardless of whether the employer or the employees caused the violation of the immigration laws.

As background, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire unauthorized workers; and it also makes it illegal for employees to present fraudulent documents to obtain or retain their employment. In 2002, the Supreme Court determined that the IRCA prohibited the Board from awarding backpay to individuals who had presented fraudulent work-authorization documents to obtain employment and thus were never lawfully authorized to work in the United States. Hoffman Plastics Compounds Inc. v. NLRB.

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