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Saint Louis University Law Journal (2011)
  • Oliver T Beatty
The focus of this Comment is whether Hoffman Plastic, which was decided in regard to unionization and back pay, is properly applied when its rationale is utilized in litigation across the country by employers to preclude workers' compensation payments to injured undocumented workers. This Comment examines the rationale and policy from courts across the nation in determining whether Hoffman Plastic belongs in workers' compensation cases, when such an application has serious consequences for workplace safety and state police power. Part I of this Comment discusses the historical background of federal immigration and labor statutes examined in the Hoffman Plastic decision. Part II captures the case law and doctrinal precedent involving cases in which illegal immigration and labor laws were at odds with immigration policies. Part III explains the lasting effects of the Hoffman Plastic decision, including the rationales of the majority and dissent, attempting to resolve the policy crisis. Part IV describes how Hoffman Plastic has been used in workers' compensation litigation and how state and federal courts across the country have responded to its application. This Comment concludes by arguing that the application of Hoffman Plastic in workers' compensation cases is misplaced and perversely incentivizes employers to both further violate immigration laws by employing undocumented workers and ignore workplace safety standards, endangering both legal residents and the undocumented claimants.
  • Undocumented,
  • Latinos,
  • Immigration law,
  • Labor law
Publication Date
Spring 2011
Citation Information
Oliver T Beatty. "WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND HOFFMAN PLASTIC: PANDORA'S UNDOCUMENTED BOX" Saint Louis University Law Journal Vol. 55 (2011)
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