(CN) – The 9th Circuit ordered a roofing company to give back-pay to the alleged undocumented workers that it illegally fired. The three-judge panel also threatened C & C Roofing with contempt sanctions if it couldn’t prove that the workers it refused to rehire are, in fact, illegal immigrants.
The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers filed three unfair labor suits against C & C Roofing, claiming it illegally fired 20 workers. A settlement was reached whereby C & C admitted liability for unlawful firings and agreed to give thee workers’ jobs back with back pay.
C & C then claimed it couldn’t comply with the judgment, because it had evidence that many of the workers to be rehired were unauthorized aliens, and rehiring them would violate federal and state immigration laws.
The union moved to enforce the judgment in January 2008. In upholding the lower court’s ruling for the union, the Seattle-based federal appeal court determined that “C&C can adhere to the terms of its bargained-for agreement without violating federal or state immigration laws.”
“(U)pon receiving proper proof of a person’s unauthorized status, the board (National Labor Relations Board) will absolve C & C of the obligation to rehire that person,” Judge Fletcher wrote.
“Although C&C … cannot be ordered to reinstate workers who may not lawfully be employed in the United States, it still must comply with the settlement in all other respects, including the requirements that it cease further [labor] violations and that it pay the liquidated sums to which it agreed.”
C & C was also ordered to provide proof of the unauthorized status of those workers it claims are illegal aliens, and to rehire the others. If C & C fails to comply, contempt sanctions “could be sought,” Fletcher said.