The Third Appellate District for the California Court of Appeals recently issued a decision that provides hope for those employers who unknowingly hire undocumented workers throughout California. In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the court used the after-acquired evidence and unclean hands doctrines to bar Salas’ Complaint, ruling that undocumented workers are not entitled to recourse on a wrongful failure to hire claim, where they misrepresent their lawful ability to work in the first place.
Vicente Salas was a seasonal worker at Sierra Chemical, a swimming pool chemical business. In 2006, he injured his back while working. After returning to work for a short time on modified duty, he reinjured his back when he was re-assigned to his regular duties. Following this injury, he brought a workers’ compensation claim against the company. In December 2006, Salas was laid off as part of Sierra Chemical’s annual reduction. In 2007 Sierra Chemical contacted Salas, informing him that he could return to work, provided he could establish he had received a medical release. Salas could not produce such a release and was precluded from returning pursuant to Sierra Chemical’s policies.
Continue Reading The California Court of Appeals Limits the Remedies for Undocumented Workers