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Immigration status irrelevant to FLSA and state wage claims

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

A federal court hearing a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case has ruled that an em­­ployee’s immigration status is irrelevant and can’t be mentioned to the jury.

Recent case: Juan Garcia worked for BAE Cleaners, transporting laundry. He sued, claiming he had not been paid minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA and New York state labor laws.

His former employer asked the court for permission to show Garcia is an illegal immigrant. The court said it could not because that status is irrelevant to whether the employer paid minimum wage and overtime. The FLSA applies to all employers and employees.

Plus, the court refused to allow any mention of Garcia’s immigration status because doing so might prejudice the jury. (Garcia v. BAE Cleaners, No. 10-Civ-7804, SD NY, 2011)

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