Immigrants come in mass numbers to California, seeking freedom and job opportunities. Unfortunately, many of these undocumented workers live in fear of deportation or workplace discrimination. A recent ruling handed down by the state Supreme Court can be considered a small victory for immigration, as immigrants who use false documents to attain jobs will now be granted job protections.

This decision came from a case that was filed by a former employee of Sierra Chemical Co., who initially filed a lawsuit claiming the company refused to provide accommodations for a disability. The lawsuit was initially dismissed when it was learned the employee used false documents to acquire his position. However, an appeal to the state’s highest court determined that his case could not be dismissed based on immigration status.

Though it is illegal to use false documents to attain a job, immigrants who do get hired in this way have the right to receive pay for the work they do. The court also held that workers can file suit against their employer for any back pay owed. According to the state Supreme Court, all job protections are to be extended regardless of a person’s immigration status.

Immigration is often a difficult subject to discuss, but those here — legally or illegally — are granted many of the same rights regarding employment protection. There are many immigrants in California who do not utilize their legal rights because they fear being deported. Fortunately, laws like this may help immigrants, regardless of immigration status, feel they can seek help if needed.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Job protections extend to immigrants using false ID, court rules“, Maura Dolan, June 26, 2014