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Workers' Compensation

United States: Sixth Circuit Chooses to Dodge Federal Immigration Issue In Retaliatory Discharge Action

Reversing a decision of a federal district court that had ruled the retaliatory discharge provision of the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act was preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held the trial court should have considered the preliminary issue of whether there had actually been any retaliation on the part of the employer. Without such retaliation, there would have been no need to consider the preemption question, said the Sixth Circuit. Federal courts should always endeavor to decide the cases before them on as narrow a ground as possible. The Sixth Circuit indicated that by taking up the IRCA preemption question first, the district court had engaged in answering what may well have been only a hypothetical question.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Torres v. Precision Indus., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 26907 (6th Cir., Sept. 6, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 104.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see