9th Circuit: Continue Employing Suspected Illegal Aliens

By Jon Feere on June 18, 2008

In their quest to continue the unlawful employment of illegal aliens, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) found support from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week. At issue was the firing of 33 individuals with mismatched Social Security numbers who had been employed by Aramark, a large professional services company. Aramark, trying to adhere to the rule of law, fired the individuals after receiving "No-Match Letters” from the Social Security Administration that the individuals failed to correct.

Citing public policy, Aramark argued that they couldn’t reasonably continue to employ individuals whom they believed to be illegal aliens. The case went to arbitration where the arbitrator concluded that there was “no convincing information” that any of those fired were illegal aliens. The 9th Circuit echoed this irrationality:

“Aramark has introduced no evidence concerning the fired employees’ actual employment status other than that they were named in the no-match letters and did not quickly respond to the request for further verification of their social security status. In addition to creating no ‘constructive notice,’ this evidence simply does not demonstrate that any of the workers were unauthorized to work, particularly because a social security card is only one way to prove work authorization.”

Although the 9th Circuit acknowledged that it “cannot enforce an award which violates public policy” the court nevertheless ordered that the 33 individuals be reinstated and that they be given back-pay even though there remains no evidence that they are in any way legally employable. The court literally required the continued employment of individuals with faulty documentation.

Hopefully the 9th Circuit will come to its senses before it issues its ruling on Arizona’s business licensing law in the coming weeks. The NILC has its hands in that case as well.

The case, Aramark v. SEIU is available, here (PDF).