Oklahoma’s immigration law, House Bill 1804, contains a number of employment provisions, including limitations on terminating employees while knowingly retaining unauthorized workers and requiring verification of employees’ legal work status. On February 11, 2009, Tulsa District Court Judge Jefferson D. Sellers ruled that the immigration law’s employment provisions don’t violate the Oklahoma Constitution.
Oklahoma employers should keep in mind that in June 2008, an Oklahoma City federal court held that the Oklahoma immigration law’s employment provisions shouldn’t be enforced because they violated federal law. That ruling is presently on appeal to the federal court of appeals in Denver.
As an aside, Judge Sellers’ February 11 order included the following observation: “The population of Oklahoma on the eve of statehood was certainly a unique gathering of souls. Some came here under forced march; others came more willingly, as did those who immigrated in the land runs.”
That’s something we may want to keep in mind. We will continue to keep you advised of immigration law developments.