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Immigration Law

Restaurant Asks Supreme Court to Rubber-Stamp Slave Wages

"A Kansas City, Mo., restaurant has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether immigrants living in the country illegally can recover overtime and minimum wage under federal employment law, in a case involving admitted noncitizen Guatemalan workers who say they weren’t properly compensated for their work.

The restaurant, Jerusalem Cafe LLC, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on Dec. 4 asking the high court to determine whether the immigrants are barred from recovery under the either the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act by the Immigrant Reform and Control Act or the subsequent 1986 IRCA amendment prohibiting such immigrants from being lawfully employed in the U.S.

Jerusalem Cafe wants the Supreme Court to overturn a July decision by the Eighth Circuit affirming a win for the Guatemalan workers. The three-judge panel rejected Jerusalem Cafe's argument that the FLSA did not apply to employers who hire immigrants living in the country without legal permission, ruling that such workers can sue under federal wage-and-hour law to recover statutory damages for work already performed." - Zachary Zagger, Law360, Dec. 10, 2013.