The Eighth Circuit in Elmer Lucas v. Jerusalem Café, LLC (No. 12-2170, July 29, 2013) held that the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime and minimum wage protections cover undocumented workers, and do not allow employers to exploit an employee's immigration status or profit from hiring unauthorized individuals. Although the Eleventh Circuit was the only other circuit court to directly address this precise question, the Secretary of Labor and numerous district courts in New York, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Michigan and California agree that employers who unlawfully hire unauthorized aliens must otherwise comply with federal employment laws. Comparing the employer's argument for exclusion to the flawed argument raised in 1931 to exempt Al Capone from paying taxes on illicit income, the Eight Circuit held that "aliens, authorized to work or not, may recover unpaid and underpaid wages under the FLSA."
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