Magazine article HRMagazine

Title VII Does Not Recognize 'Alienage' as Protected Class

Magazine article HRMagazine

Title VII Does Not Recognize 'Alienage' as Protected Class

Article excerpt

Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Co., 7th Cir., No. 11-1631 (May 21, 2012)

The firing of an employee because she was married to a Mexican citizen who lacked permission to be in the country was not national origin discrimination because "alienage" is not a protected classification under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, affirmed the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 1997, Javier Cortezano unlawfully entered the United States, where he took up residence without a valid visa or work permit. Javier later met Kristi Cortezano, and the two were married. In March 2007, Salin Bank & Trust Co. hired Kristi as a bank sales manager while Javier started a car detailing and repair business. To open a business banking account, Javier obtained an individual tax identification number.

Kristi named Javier a joint owner on her account at Salin Bank, and she helped Javier use his tax identification number to open a personal account as well as a business account for his company. After Javier's business foundered, he returned to Mexico in December 2007 to sort out his citizenship status. Kristi revealed Javier's unauthorized status to her supervisor in connection with her request for vacation time to attend proceedings in Mexico and help Javier obtain U. …

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