Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Court Won't Enjoin Arizona Legal Workers Act

Absent some other last minute judicial intervention it appears that Arizona's law that imposes strict sanctions for hiring illegal workers is set to go into effect on January 1, 2008 as U.S. District Judge Neil Wake late yesterday denied a temporary injunction that would have delayed its implementation.

My Arizona colleagues including Kerry Martin and Scott Blaney, have been monitoring the situation closely and had this update late last night:
Arizona Legal Workers Act Survives First Challenge

Just hours ago, Judge Neil Wake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona denied a temporary restraining order seeking to block enforcement of the Arizona Legal Workers Act. For now, it appears that Arizona’s sweeping new law aimed at stopping the employment of unauthorized workers in Arizona will take effect as scheduled on January 1, 2008. The Act allows for suspension and revocation of licenses of businesses that knowingly employ unauthorized workers.

Judge Wake previously dismissed a challenge to the law because the plaintiffs failed to name the proper defendants. Today, he reiterated that the plaintiffs’ delay in naming the proper parties was a basis for his decision. The plaintiffs have appealed the previous dismissal of their complaint to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and also asked Judge Wake on Tuesday for an injunction while the appeal is pending, which he denied today. Judge Wake cited statements by Arizona County Attorneys that they would not take legal action against any Arizona employers until after February 1, 2008 as a further basis for his ruling. It is important to note, however, that the County Attorneys were explicit during Tuesday’s hearing before the Court that they can and likely will begin investigating complaints filed pursuant to the law beginning in early January.

Given today’s developments and the County Attorneys’ statements, Arizona businesses should prepare for the new law to take effect as scheduled on January 1, 2008.

Here's a link to my colleagues complete report. If you want a feel for those who have been actively supporting the act check out their home page.


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