Shuaa Tajammul


This Article discusses the effect of the Hoffman Plastic Compounds decision on backpay as a remedy for illegal immigrants who sue their employers for lost wages. When Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”), it believed it struck at the heart of illegal immigration: the search for employment in the United States. However, the IRCA did not accomplish its stated purpose. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that lost wages and backpay were not available as remedies to an employee who obtained a job through IRCA violation and later tried to sue his/her employer. The decision and its progeny left a complicated trail of splits in circuits. This Article explores the implications of Hoffman as it relates to awards of backpay to unauthorized workers.



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