Missed this one from the fall: a Texas catering business will pay a fine to the U.S. government for having engaged in “citizenship discrimination.” “Culinaire International unlawfully discriminated against employees based on their citizenship status, the Justice Department claimed, because it required non-citizen employees to provide extra proof of their right to work in the United States. Culinaire has agreed to pay the United States $20,460 in civil penalties, receive training in anti-discrimination rules of the Immigration and Nationality Act, revise its work eligibility verification process, and create a $40,000 back pay fund for ‘potential economic victims.'” Employers face stringent penalties if they ask for too few documents, but that doesn’t mean they’re free to ask for any more than the right number. [Rachel Stoltzfoos, Daily Caller; Bill Watson ("Trying too hard to follow bad laws? That's illegal")] Several related cases, from fifteen years ago, here.
The panel is packed with big names and many of them offer suggestions with a law or regulation angle, including Philip K. Howard (“Radically Simplify Law”), Derek Khanna (rethink patent and copyright law; related, Ramesh Ponnuru), Morris Kleiner (reform occupational licensure; related, Steven Teles), Arnold Kling (“Sidestep the FCC and the FDA”), Robert Litan (admit more high-skill immigrants and reform employment of teachers; similarly on immigration, Alex Nowrasteh), Adam Thierer (emphasize “permissionless innovation”), and Peter Van Doren (relax zoning so to ease movement of workers to high-wage cities).
Some lawyers have filed attempted mass suits (earlier here, here, etc. on Mohawk Industries case) claiming that by hiring undocumented workers employers have engaged in “racketeering” for which they should owe money under the RICO law to other workers, above and beyond whatever wages were agreed to at the time or prescribed by statute. It was always a strained theory, and now is said to be encountering tougher going because courts are being more particular about requiring that plaintiffs’ pleadings spell out plausible theories of proximate cause, injury and damages, under the Twombly/Iqbal standard by which the U.S. Supreme Court has toughened early scrutiny of lawsuits. If that’s so, chalk up one more Twiqbal victory for common sense and restraint in litigation. [Workplace Prof, from the Spring]
When a near-unanimous Congress came together in 2008 to pass something with the moralistic, self-congratulatory name of the “William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection” Act, we should have braced ourselves for major, unintended, un-humanitarian consequences. And here they are. [Alex Nowrasteh, The Hill]
More: Now that the Wilberforce Act’s moral posturing has led to more actual trafficking, activist groups (see their open letter) are pressuring the White House not to fix the law [Charles Lane, Washington Post] “Congress likes to put fancy titles on its legislative handiwork, but they should probably just call everything the Law of Unintended Consequences, especially immigration bills.”
A Georgia lawyer aired an ad bizarre enough that it’s made the rounds of the legal sites:
More from Lowering the Bar (“As Rolling Stone suggests, it is a little problematic that the ad depicts him desecrating a grave and smashing a grave marker, even if he does it with a flaming sledgehammer named after his dead brother and to a badass metal soundtrack.”)
Meanwhile, over at Cato at Liberty, I’ve got a commentary on the Coca-Cola ad with at least a tangential relation to language law, the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressives, and the gracefulness of being good winners regarding the success of English assimilation.
“…You Must Keep Your Guns Locked Up,” on pain of criminal punishment. At least that’s the import of an odd new California measure signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. [Eugene Volokh]
“An Indiana lawyer has been suspended for 30 days for a comment about the immigration status of his divorce client’s spouse in a letter sent to opposing counsel and the judge in the case.” [ABA Journal]
The immigration bill would give many deportees free attorneys [Slate]
Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), the sponsor of a bill in the California legislature, thinks jury service would help advance the assimilation of immigrants by exposing them to an important civic process. Ben Boychuk, at City Journal, doesn’t agree, quoting political scientist Edward Erler: “The idea that legal immigrants can learn to become citizens through jury service is a dangerous experiment on the liberties of American citizens.”
An immigration judge has ruled that the British government cannot deport convicted drug dealer Hesham Ali, who has never been in the country legally, because he has a girlfriend and making him leave would therefore violate his “right to family life” under the Human Rights Act [Telegraph]:
He convinced a judge he had a “family life” which had to be respected because he had a “genuine” relationship with a British woman – despite already having two children by different women with whom he now has no contact.
Ali also mounted an extraordinary claim that his life would be in danger in his native Iraq because he was covered in tattoos, including a half-naked Western woman – a claim which was only dismissed after exhaustive legal examination.
Meanwhile, Ted Frank argues that the case of the Tsarnaev family points up the longstanding problem of dubious or fraudulent asylum claims [Point of Law]
Once again a court has struck down an overreaching Obama administration regulation. This time it was the Eleventh Circuit that dismissed as “absurd” a Department of Labor rationale for asserting its regulatory authority over the H-2B guestworker program. I’ve got more details at Cato at Liberty.
A prerequisite for a high school diploma in Arizona, if some lawmakers there get their way. [Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal]