California Supreme Court rules for
migrant who used other's ID
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[June 27, 2014]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California
law that protects workers from discrimination regardless of immigration
status could be used by a migrant to sue his employer even though he
used another man's Social Security number, the state Supreme Court ruled
The 5-2 decision by the court came in the case of a man who sued
his former employer, Sierra Chemical Co., contending he was not
brought back for seasonal work in retaliation for filing a worker's
Justice Joyce Kennard, writing for the majority, cited a 2002
California law intended to grant unauthorized immigrants the same
protections as other workers.
"Nothing in the statute states or implies that its central directive
would not apply to any unauthorized alien who used false
documentation to obtain employment," wrote Kennard, who has recently
retired from the court.
The plaintiff, Vincente Salas, sued his former employer in San
Joaquin County in 2007. The company filed a motion for summary
judgment to dismiss the case on the grounds that Salas fraudulently
used another person's Social Security number to get hired by the
firm when he first joined it.
The trial court rejected that request from Sierra Chemical, but an
appeals court decided in favor of the company.
In its opinion, the San Francisco-based Supreme Court sent the case
back to the trial court and found Salas could seek lost wages for
the period between when he was not re-hired for seasonal work and
when the employer learned he had used a false Social Security
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It ruled he could not make a claim related to the time period after
the employer discovered his use of another person's social security
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Eric Beech and Sandra
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