Friday, June 11, 2004

Wal-Mart case alerts employers to criminal implications of hiring undocumented workers

"'Until recently, immigration was interested only in identifying illegals and taking them to immigration, not a criminal court,' says [Elliott Ozmet, a Nashville attorney]. 'Now the government is not only arresting the illegal workers, it brought criminal charges against individuals at company and the company.'"

"In another illegal worker case, this time the U.S. Government vs. Wal-Mart, says Ozmet, it's alleged Wal-Mart had to know that contractors supplying janitorial services at 61 Wal-Marts were using undocumented workers, based on earlier arrests."

"'This case is still pending,' says Ozmet. 'But it has alarmed businesses that have (turned a blind eye to the hiring practices of vendors). The government is cracking down. If you have illegals working for you, even though it's through an independent contractor, you may no longer be safe from prosecution.'"

Nashville Business Journal

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