Support the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse?

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is committed to making information about civil rights lawsuits public, accessible, and free. If you use our--recently revamped--website and the posted documents and information, would you consider a donation? Our small but mighty team relies principally on grant funding and donations. Can you help?

Support the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse?

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is committed to making information about civil rights lawsuits public, accessible, and free. If you use our--recently revamped--website and the posted documents and information, would you consider a donation? Our small but mighty team relies principally on grant funding and donations. Can you help?

Thank you!

DONATE

Case: Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB

91-26630 | No Court

Filed Date: Feb. 28, 1991

Closed Date: 2002

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In this case, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that federal immigration law prohibited awarding undocumented immigrant workers back pay under the National Labor Relations Act.This case arose when Hoffman Plastic Compounds fired José Castro and others for union activities in 1989. During a series of administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), it was determined that Castro was an undocumented immigrant who had used fake pape…

In this case, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that federal immigration law prohibited awarding undocumented immigrant workers back pay under the National Labor Relations Act.

This case arose when Hoffman Plastic Compounds fired José Castro and others for union activities in 1989. During a series of administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), it was determined that Castro was an undocumented immigrant who had used fake papers to gain employment. Castro was awarded some back pay (for the period beginning on date of his illegal termination until Hoffman discovered he was unauthorized to work). See Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc., 306 N.L.R.B. 100, 1992 WL 14561 (1992); Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc., 314 N.L.R.B. 683, 685, 1994 WL 397901 (1994); Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. 326 N.L.R.B. No. 86, 1998 WL 663933 (Sept. 23, 1998).

Hoffman appealed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, arguing that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA") and the case Sure-Tan, Inc. v. NLRB, 467 U.S. 883, 104 S.Ct. 2803, 81 L.Ed.2d 732 (1984), barred awards of any backpay to undocumented workers. A panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 208 F.3d 229 (D.C.Cir. 2000), but rehearing en banc was granted and the judgment vacated. Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 2000 WL 985015 (D.C.Cir. 2000). On rehearing en banc, the Court held that a worker's undocumented status did not render him ineligible to obtain backpay as a remedy for an employer's violation of the NLRA. Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 237 F.3d 639 (D.C.Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court granted certiorari, Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 533 U.S. 976, 122 S.Ct. 23, 150 L.Ed.2d 804 (2001) and reversed. Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 535 U.S. 137, 122 S.Ct. 1275, 152 L.Ed.2d 271 (2002). The Supreme Court (Chief Justice Rehnquist) held that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) foreclosed an award of backpay under the NLRA to undocumented alien works who had never been legally authorized to work in the U.S.

On remand, the District Court entered judgment in favor of the employer Hoffman. See Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 2002 WL 1974040 (D.C.Cir. Aug 27, 2002) and Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 2002 WL 1974028 (D.C.Cir. Aug 27, 2002).

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/3/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Edwards, Harry Thomas (District of Columbia)

Garland, Merrick B. (District of Columbia)

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (District of Columbia)

Henderson, Karen LeCraft (District of Columbia)

Randolph, Arthur Raymond (District of Columbia)

Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (District of Columbia)

Sentelle, David Bryan (District of Columbia)

Silberman, Laurence Hirsch (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Edwards, Harry Thomas (District of Columbia)

Garland, Merrick B. (District of Columbia)

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (District of Columbia)

Henderson, Karen LeCraft (District of Columbia)

Randolph, Arthur Raymond (District of Columbia)

Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (District of Columbia)

Sentelle, David Bryan (District of Columbia)

Silberman, Laurence Hirsch (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Tatel, David S. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baskin, Maurice (District of Columbia)

McCortney, Ryan D. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Armstrong, Aileen A. (District of Columbia)

Block, Sharon (District of Columbia)

Burgoyne, John D. (District of Columbia)

Cornnell, Fred L Jr (District of Columbia)

Fisher, Linda (Illinois)

Page, Leonard R (District of Columbia)

Sher, Linda R. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Berra, Joseph Pacifico (Texas)

Berzon, Marsha Siegel (California)

Berzon [DUPLICATE], Marsha Siegel (California)

Coppess, James B. (District of Columbia)

Gold, Laurence E. (District of Columbia)

Hiatt, Jonathan P. (District of Columbia)

Reif, James (New York)

Ruckelshaus, Cahterine K. (New York)

Saucedo, Leticia M. (Texas)

Smith, Rebecca Ann (Washington)

Williams, James (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

91-26630

NLRB Docket

Hoffman Plastics Compounds, Inc.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Jan. 8, 2002

Jan. 8, 2002

Docket

91-26630

Decision and Order

Jan. 22, 1992

Jan. 22, 1992

Order/Opinion

91-26630

Supplemental Decision and Order

District of Columbia state trial court

July 29, 1994

July 29, 1994

Order/Opinion

91-26630

Second Supplemental Decision and Order

Sept. 23, 1998

Sept. 23, 1998

Order/Opinion

00-01595

Brief of Amici Curiae National Employment Law Project, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Coalition for Jumane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, et al. in Support of Respondent

Supreme Court of the United States

Jan. 1, 2000

Jan. 1, 2000

Pleading / Motion / Brief

98-01570

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

March 17, 2000

March 17, 2000

Order/Opinion

98-01570

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Jan. 16, 2001

Jan. 16, 2001

Order/Opinion

00-01595

Supreme Court Opinion

Supreme Court of the United States

March 27, 2002

March 27, 2002

Order/Opinion

98-01570

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Aug. 27, 2002

Aug. 27, 2002

Order/Opinion

98-01570

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Aug. 27, 2002

Aug. 27, 2002

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 9, 2022, 11:22 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Labor Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 28, 1991

Closing Date: 2002

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc.

Attorney Organizations:

MALDEF

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

National Labor Relations Board, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

National Labor Relations Act

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Employer sanctions

Employment

Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties