Legal aid gives big win to immigrant workers seeking to adjust to legal status.
July 22, 2015
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid at Work
A federal court has found that a Stockton man’s civil rights were violated when California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation denied him employment because he had used a fake social security number in the past to work while he was undocumented.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup determined the corrections department and the state Personnel Board discriminated against Guerrero by inappropriately using the question — “Have you ever had or used a social security number other than the one you used on this questionnaire?” — as a “showstopper.” The state failed to adequately assess Guerrero and weigh other relevant factors that played into his use of another social security number.
“It’s a big win for immigrant workers who have already adjusted their status or wish to adjust their status,” said Marsha Chien, a staff attorney with the San Francisco-based Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC), who represented Guerrero.
President Barack Obama’s two national immigration policy changes are leading to an increasing number of undocumented immigrants seeking to adjust to legal status. Chien said Alsup’s decision sets a precedent for employers to refrain from thinking about disqualifying those workers based solely on their prior use of a fake social security number.Tags: Civil Rights, Immigration, Workers Rights