Granados v. Windson Development Corp
In Granados v. Windson Development Corp., 257 Va. 103, 509 S.E.2d 290 (1999), the Supreme Court held that an illegal alien is not an "employee" under the Act because "under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, an illegal alien cannot be employed lawfully in the United States." Granados, 257 Va. 103 at 108, 509 S.E.2d at 293.
The Court concluded that Granados was not lawfully in the service of the employer under a valid or enforceable contract for hire and, thus, was not an "employee" as defined by Code 65.2-101.
Accordingly, the Court held that Granados was "not eligible to receive compensation benefits as an 'employee' under the Act because his purported contract of hire was void and unenforceable." Granados, 257 Va. at 108-09, 509 S.E.2d at 293.
The Supreme Court was asked to decide whether an undocumented alien was an "employee" as defined in Code 65.2-101.
The Court held that, under the provisions of the United States Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, an undocumented alien could not lawfully contract for hire and, therefore, could not satisfy the definition of "employee" under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act. Granados, 257 Va. at 108-09, 509 S.E.2d at 293.
In Granados, the Supreme Court rejected claimant's assertion that the denial of workers' compensation benefits violated his constitutional equal protection rights, holding that "the denial of benefits results from claimant's failure to meet his burden of proving that he was an 'employee' under the Act, not from his status as an illegal alien." 257 Va. at 109, 509 S.E.2d at 293.