“Illegal immigrants sue Wendy’s”

by Walter Olson on October 9, 2006

“A group of illegal immigrants who worked for Wendy’s International Inc. is suing the restaurant chain because the company fired them after discovering it had missed a deadline for joining a federal program that would have helped them attain legal status.” (Rasha Madkour, AP/Houston Chronicle, Oct. 6).

More: the restaurant company blames a series of “mistakes made by others” that began before it bought the Cafe Express chain. In particular, Houston-based business law firm Boyar & Miller failed to take steps needed to enroll workers in the program. Commenter David Schwartz points out:

It might be worth noting that the employees *paid* to partipicate in the program. Surely if I pay my employer for legal services and I don’t get them, either my employer or their law firm is at fault, no?

Isn’t missing a filing deadline a classic example of attorney malpractice?

{ 8 comments }

1 David Schwartz 10.09.06 at 4:04 am

It might be worth noting that the employees *paid* to partipicate in the program. Surely if I pay my employer for legal services and I don’t get them, either my employer or their law firm is at fault, no?

Isn’t missing a filing deadline a classic example of attorney malpractice?

2 nevins 10.09.06 at 8:24 am

As illegals they had no right to employment since they lacked valid tax ID numbers and other legal requirments. Lacking a right to a job means that they cannot claim wrongful loss of that job.

3 gunner 10.09.06 at 9:00 am

Missing a deadline is one of the top errors in lawfirms I read. I did read this after a lawyer missed a filing date for my wife in a case she had. He was up front and covered what we were asking for. No bad feelings.

4 Jeff 10.09.06 at 9:12 am

Apparently, leaving scalpels inside patients is a top error among surgeons:

“A surgeon leaving a scalpel inside of someone is a direct analogy to missing a filing deadline – you don’t do it as a lawyer,” said Stanley Broome, whose Dallas-area law firm, Howie, Broome & Bobo, is representing the immigrants.

Classic.

5 David Wilson 10.09.06 at 11:49 am

Words can’t express the level of my objection of illegal immigration, and much legal immigration, besides. It’s the No. 1 problem in America by far, and if you haven’t picked up Pat Buchanan’s new book, do so. It’s an eye-opener.

But it looks like, if this program were legit (anyone know?), there’s a case here. From an immigration reform perspective, maybe it will make employers think twice about hiring illegals even in situations where they’re on a track to legality. They’re obviously not so forgiving to an employer who was apparently trying to help them.

I just always have to laugh at the absurdity of someone whose VERY STATUS IS NOT LEGAL turning around and INVOKING OUR LEGAL SYSTEM to enforce their “rights.” Now that’s cojones. And because of the crippling level of white guilt in America, it’s not only tolerated but encouraged and applauded.

6 Jeff 10.09.06 at 3:13 pm

I remember a housemate of mine, self-employed, painting someone’s entire house and not getting paid for it. He filed suit in small claims court. Unfortunately, he wasn’t properly licensed, so when the case was presented, the judge sided with the defendant. He said to the judge “you mean to tell me you’re not going to make her pay?” The judge responded “you mean to tell me you don’t have a license to paint in the state of Michigan?” Seems illegals also should lose for being illegal.

7 Charlie B 10.09.06 at 3:30 pm

Nevins is wrong in this case. The employees were legally allowed to work for Wendy’s – actually a Wendy’s subsidiary – while applying for some sort of guest worker status. Once the filing deadline passed, they were no longer legal and Wendy’s was required to fire them.

Isn’t the legal issue Wendy’s failure to do the required paperwork.

If Wendy’s was the other party in the immigration deal, then suing Wendy’s seems correct as Wendy’s hired the law firm to do what Wendy’s was obligated to do. Wendy’s in turn might have a malpractice action against the law firm.

8 David Schwartz 10.09.06 at 4:58 pm

Jeff:

Does it seem okay to you to hire someone *knowing* they have no legal right to get paid and with no intent to pay them?

Isn’t that almost the definition of fraud?

Are you actually defending taking advantage of illegal immigrants because they lack legal rights?

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