RICARDO TORRES v. PRECISION INDUSTRIES, P.I. INC. d/b/a PRECISION INDUSTRIES, TERRY HEDRICK and VICKI HEDRICK - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 5, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Steven Wilson and John Feild, Memphis, Tennessee, for Plaintiff/Appellant Ricardo Torres.

Attorneys 2:

James L. Holt, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellees Terry Hedrick, Vicki Hedrick, P.I., Inc. d/b/a/ Precision Industries.

Judge(s): SUMMERS

This appeal involves whether an unauthorized alien has standing to bring a retaliatory discharge claim. The appellant employee, an undocumented worker, alleged that the appellee employer terminated his employment as a direct result of the employee asserting a workers’ compensation claim. The employer moved for summary judgment, arguing that the employee could not bring a claim for retaliatory discharge because he was not legally authorized to work in Tennessee or capable of performing the job from which he was fired. The trial court granted summary judgment based solely on the illegal status of the employee, concluding he was incapable of employment, and therefore, could not assert a claim for retaliatory discharge. We reverse, holding that the undocumented employee does have standing to bring a retaliatory discharge claim and remand for further proceedings.

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