Undocumented Status and Failure to Pay Taxes Does Not Bar Overtime Recovery

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Undocumented Status and Failure to Pay Taxes Does Not Bar Overtime Recovery

In an important decision supporting the rights of undocumented workers for protection under the labor laws, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that undocumented aliens could recover overtime wages due to them under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The court, in Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc., rejected the employer’s argument that two undocumented should be barred from a recovery because they did not accurately report their income to the IRS, used false social security numbers, and were not authorized to work in the United States.  The Court explained that the award of unpaid wages does not condone the violation of the immigration laws that have occurred, it merely ensures that the employer does not take advantage of the violation by availing himself of the benefits of undocumented workers’ past labor without paying for it in accordance with minimum FLSA standards.

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