Two Federal Circuit Courts have this year opined on the issue of undocumented Plaintiffs and their rights to collect unpaid wages. In Lucas v. Jerusalem Café, LLC and Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc. the Courts found that undocumented and unauthorized aliens, despite their status, could still recover for underpayment and non-payment of wages.
In Lucas, the Court said, “There is nothing in the FLSA that would allow us to conclude that undocumented aliens, although protected by the Act, are nevertheless barred from recovering unpaid wages thereunder.” In this same regard, the Lamonica Court held that an undocumented worker’s “ability to recover unpaid wages under the FLSA does not depend upon his immigration status.”
The underlying principle here is clear and employees should not be hesitant to pursue actions for unpaid wages because of their residency status. If you do work, you should be compensated in accordance with the law.