Alaska Packers Assn. v. Industrial Accident Comm'n

In Alaska Packers Assn. v. Industrial Accident Comm'n, 294 U.S. 532, 542 (1935), the Court upheld California's application of its Workmen's Compensation Act, where the most significant contact of the worker with California was his execution of an employment contract in California. The worker, a nonresident alien from Mexico, was hired in California for seasonal work in a salmon canning factory in Alaska. As part of the employment contract, the employer, who was doing business in California, agreed to transport the worker to Alaska and to return him to California when the work was completed. Even though the employee contracted to be bound by the Alaska Workmen's Compensation Law and was injured in Alaska, he sought an award under the California Workmen's Compensation Act. The Court held that the choice of California law was not "so arbitrary or unreasonable as to amount to a denial of due process," 294 U.S., at 542, because "without a remedy in California, he would be remediless," ibid., and because of California's interest that the worker not become a public charge, ibid.