Case: Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB

26630 | No Court

Filed Date: 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

NLRB Docket

Hoffman Plastics Compounds, Inc.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Jan. 8, 2002 Docket

Decision and Order

1992 WL 14561

Jan. 22, 1992 Order/Opinion

Supplemental Decision and Order

District of Columbia state trial court

1994 WL 397901

July 29, 1994 Order/Opinion

Second Supplemental Decision and Order

1998 WL 663933

Sept. 23, 1998 Order/Opinion

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 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Opinion

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

208 F.3d 229

March 17, 2000 Order/Opinion

Opinion

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

237 F.3d 639

Jan. 16, 2001 Order/Opinion

Supreme Court Opinion

Supreme Court of the United States

535 U.S. 137, 122 S.Ct. 1275, 152 L.Ed.2d 271

March 27, 2002 Order/Opinion

Order

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

2002 WL 1974040

Aug. 27, 2002 Order/Opinion

Opinion

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

2002 WL 1974028

Aug. 27, 2002 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Oyez Project, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002).

Oyez Project

Information about the Supreme Court litigation in this case, including audio recordings of the oral argument and opinion announcement, and the docket and written opinion. March 27, 2002 http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2001/2001_00_1595/

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: 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