Monday, November 20, 2006

UC - sec. 401(d)- availablity for work - alien worker - expired work authorization

Ruiz v. UCBR - Commonwealth Court - November 20, 2006

An alien who does not have a current valid work authorization is not legally available for work and is not eligible for UC benefits under sec. 401(d)(1) of the UC Law, 43 P.S. sec. 801(d)(1).

"A claimant who registers for work is presumed [to be] able [to] and available for work....Nevertheless, to be available for work, a claimant must be ready and able to accept employment, and be actually and currently attached to the labor force."

"Immigration is a matter of exclusive federal jurisdiction. Accordinly, where the USCIS denies or revokes an alien's work authorization, the determination is binding on the states and can be assailed only before a federal agency or in a federal court....Significantly, when an alien does not possess a current or valid USCIS work authorization, he cannot accept employment. 8CFR sec. 274.12(c). Moreover, it is unlawful for an employer to hire, recruit, or continue to employ an alient who is (or has become) an "unauthorized alien." 8 USC sec. 1324a(a)(1)-(2).

This decision confirms the dictum in Jimoh v. UCBR, 902 A.2d 608, 612 n.7 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006), concerning sec. 401(d).