The Story of Hoffman Plastic Compounds V. Nlrb: Labor Rights Without Remedies for Undocumented Immigrants, Chapter 10 of Labor Law Stories and Chapter 12 of Immigration Stories

THE STORY OF HOFFMAN PLASTIC COMPOUNDS V. NLRB: LABOR RIGHTS WITHOUT REMEDIES FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS, (Labor Law Stories, Chapter 10) Laura Cooper & Catherine Fisk, eds.; (Immigration Stories, Chapter 12) David Martin & Peter Schuck, eds., Foundation Press, 2005

Duke Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 82

54 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2005

See all articles by Catherine Fisk

Catherine Fisk

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Laura J. Cooper

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

Michael J. Wishnie

Yale Law School

Abstract

In Hoffman Plastic Compounds v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002), the United States Supreme Court held that undocumented workers are not entitled to remedies for violations of their rights to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. The majority of the Court viewed enforcement of immigration policy prohibiting employment of undocumented workers as more important than protecting the labor rights of both undocumented workers and their U.S. citizen co-workers who join their efforts to improve working conditions. The chapter explores the origins of the case in a minimum-wage factory in Los Angeles, the surprising turn of events when the illegally fired worker blurted out on the witness stand that he was not a U.S. citizen, how the lawyer for the employer portrayed his client as being unaware of the worker's undocumented status when the employee he had stated on the job application that he was not authorized to work in the U.S., and the closely-divided decisions at every level of judicial review in which judges disagreed strenuously how to reconcile immigration and labor policy. The chapter also explores the impact of the case on a wide variety of state and federal employment cases in which employers have argued that undocumented workers are unprotected by law.

Suggested Citation

Fisk, Catherine L. and Cooper, Laura J. and Wishnie, Michael J., The Story of Hoffman Plastic Compounds V. Nlrb: Labor Rights Without Remedies for Undocumented Immigrants, Chapter 10 of Labor Law Stories and Chapter 12 of Immigration Stories. THE STORY OF HOFFMAN PLASTIC COMPOUNDS V. NLRB: LABOR RIGHTS WITHOUT REMEDIES FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS, (Labor Law Stories, Chapter 10) Laura Cooper & Catherine Fisk, eds.; (Immigration Stories, Chapter 12) David Martin & Peter Schuck, eds., Foundation Press, 2005; Duke Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 82. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=809205

Catherine L. Fisk (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
(510) 642-2098 (Phone)

Laura J. Cooper

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Michael J. Wishnie

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4800 (Phone)
203-432-1426 (Fax)

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