University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB IM-DC-0005
Docket / Court 21-CA-26630 (NLRB) ( No Court )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization MALDEF
Case Summary
In this case, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that federal immigration law prohibited awarding undocumented immigrant workers back pay under the National Labor Relations Act.

This case arose when Hoffman Plastic Compounds fired José Castro and ... read more >
In this case, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that federal immigration law prohibited awarding undocumented immigrant workers back pay under the National Labor Relations Act.

This case arose when Hoffman Plastic Compounds fired José Castro and others for union activities in 1989. During a series of administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), it was determined that Castro was an undocumented immigrant who had used fake papers to gain employment. Castro was awarded some back pay (for the period beginning on date of his illegal termination until Hoffman discovered he was unauthorized to work). See Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc., 306 N.L.R.B. 100, 1992 WL 14561 (1992); Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc., 314 N.L.R.B. 683, 685, 1994 WL 397901 (1994); Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. 326 N.L.R.B. No. 86, 1998 WL 663933 (Sept. 23, 1998).

Hoffman appealed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, arguing that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA") and the case Sure-Tan, Inc. v. NLRB, 467 U.S. 883, 104 S.Ct. 2803, 81 L.Ed.2d 732 (1984), barred awards of any backpay to undocumented workers. A panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 208 F.3d 229 (D.C.Cir. 2000), but rehearing en banc was granted and the judgment vacated. Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 2000 WL 985015 (D.C.Cir. 2000). On rehearing en banc, the Court held that a worker's undocumented status did not render him ineligible to obtain backpay as a remedy for an employer's violation of the NLRA. Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 237 F.3d 639 (D.C.Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court granted certiorari, Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 533 U.S. 976, 122 S.Ct. 23, 150 L.Ed.2d 804 (2001) and reversed. Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 535 U.S. 137, 122 S.Ct. 1275, 152 L.Ed.2d 271 (2002). The Supreme Court (Chief Justice Rehnquist) held that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) foreclosed an award of backpay under the NLRA to undocumented alien works who had never been legally authorized to work in the U.S.



On remand, the District Court entered judgment in favor of the employer Hoffman. See Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 2002 WL 1974040 (D.C.Cir. Aug 27, 2002) and Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 2002 WL 1974028 (D.C.Cir. Aug 27, 2002).

Dan Dalton - 01/03/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Employer sanctions
Employment
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Causes of Action National Labor Relations Act
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
Defendant(s) National Labor Relations Board
Plaintiff Description Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations MALDEF
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links The Oyez Project, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002).
www.oyez.org
Posted: Mar. 27, 2002
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
21-CA-26630 (D.D.C.) 01/08/2002
IM-DC-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Decision and Order 01/22/1992 (1992 WL 14561)
IM-DC-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Supplemental Decision and Order 07/29/1994 (1994 WL 397901)
IM-DC-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Second Supplemental Decision and Order 09/23/1998 (1998 WL 663933)
IM-DC-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Brief of Amici Curiae National Employment Law Project, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Coalition for Jumane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, et al. in Support of Respondent 01/01/2000
IM-DC-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Opinion 03/17/2000 (208 F.3d 229)
IM-DC-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 01/16/2001 (237 F.3d 639)
IM-DC-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Supreme Court Opinion 03/27/2002 (535 U.S. 137)
IM-DC-0005-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 08/27/2002 (2002 WL 1974040)
IM-DC-0005-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Opinion 08/27/2002 (2002 WL 1974028)
IM-DC-0005-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Judges Breyer, Stephen Gerald (SCOTUS, First Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0009
Edwards, Harry Thomas (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Garland, Merrick B. (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008 | IM-DC-0005-0009
Henderson, Karen LeCraft (D.S.C., D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Randolph, Arthur Raymond (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0002 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Rogers, John M. (Sixth Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Sentelle, David Bryan (W.D.N.C., D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0002 | IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Silberman, Laurence Hirsch (D.C. Circuit, FISCR)
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Stevens, John Paul (SCOTUS, Seventh Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0009
Tatel, David S. (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0005-0002 | IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0007 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Williams, Neil C. III Court not on record
IM-DC-0005-0003 | IM-DC-0005-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baskin, Maurice (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0002 | IM-DC-0005-0003
McCortney, Ryan D. (California)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Armstrong, Aileen A. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Block, Sharon (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0002 | IM-DC-0005-0003
Burgoyne, John D. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Cornnell, Fred L Jr (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Page, Leonard R (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Sher, Linda R. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Other Lawyers Berra, Joseph Pacifico (Texas)
IM-DC-0005-0001
Berzon, Marsha Siegel (California)
IM-DC-0005-0002
Coppess, James B. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Gold, Laurence E. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Hiatt, Jonathan P. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0005-0003
Reif, James (New York)
IM-DC-0005-0001
Ruckelshaus, Cahterine K. (New York)
IM-DC-0005-0001
Saucedo, Leticia M. (Texas)
IM-DC-0005-0001
Smith, Rebecca Ann (Washington)
IM-DC-0005-0001
Williams, James (New York)
IM-DC-0005-0001 | IM-DC-0005-0007

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