The ptd benefits awarded in this case are

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The PTD benefits awarded in this case are fundamentally distinct from the back pay at issue in Hoffman. Had the employer in Hoffman not terminated the undocumented worker for attempting to unionize, the IRCA effectively required that the worker be discharged. Accordingly, the undocumented worker in Hoffman was not legally entitled to wages during the period for which back pay was awarded. See Hoffman, 535 U.S. at 149, 122 S.Ct. at 1283, 152 L.Ed.2d at 282. Unlike the undocumented alien in Hoffman, the claimant in this case has suffered a loss of earning unrelated to her violation of the IRCA. Although the IRCA prevents the claimant from legally working in the United States, she would still be able to work elsewhere had she not sustained a work-related injury. As a consequence, the award of PTD benefits to the claimant is separate and distinct from any continuing violation of the IRCA and, therefore, does not conflict with federal immigration policy. Based on the foregoing analysis, we find that the IRCA does not preempt, either expressly or implicitly, an award of PTD benefits to an undocumented alien. In so concluding, we note that courts in other jurisdictions have almost uniformly held that the IRCA does not preclude undocumented aliens from receiving workers' compensation benefits. See Farmers Brothers Coffee v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, 133 Cal.App.4th 533, 542, 35 Cal.Rptr.3d 23, 29 (2005); Champion Auto Body v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 950 P.2d 671, 673 (Colo.App.1997); Dowling, 244 Conn. at 797, 712 A.2d at 405; Safeharbor Employer Services I, Inc. v. Velazquez, 860 So.2d 984, 986 (Fla.App.2003); Continental Pet Technologies, Inc. v. Palacias, 269 Ga.App. 561, 564, 604 S.E.2d 627, 631 (2004); Design Kitchen & Baths v. Lagos,
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Spring 2017 LER 590-E: GOVERNMENT REGULATION II 147 | P a g e 388 Md. 718, 739–40, 882 A.2d 817, 829–30 (2005); Correa v. Waymouth Farms, Inc., 664 N.W.2d 324, 331 (Minn.2003); Ruiz v. Belk Masonry Co., 148 N.C.App. 675, 679, 559 S.E.2d 249, 252 (2002); Mendoza v. Monmouth Recycling Corp., 288 N.J.Super. 240, 248, 672 A.2d 221, 225 (1996); Cherokee Industries, Inc. v. Alvarez, 84 P.3d 798, 799–801 (Okla.Civ.App.2003); Reinforced Earth Co. v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board, 749 A.2d 1036, 1038–39 (Pa.Commw.Ct.2000). Having found that the IRCA does not preempt the Commission's authority to award PTD benefits to an undocumented alien, we next consider whether an undocumented alien can prove she is totally and permanently disabled pursuant to the test traditionally applied to injured employees who fall within the “odd-lot” category. In this case, the Commission, in adopting the decision of the arbitrator, found the claimant to be permanently and totally disabled under the “odd-lot” category based on the claimant's age, lack of education, lack of transferable skills, inability to speak English, and physical restrictions. An employee is totally and permanently disabled when she is unable to make some contribution to the work force sufficient to justify the payment of wages. Ceco Corp. v. Industrial Comm'n, 95 Ill.2d 278, 286, 69 Ill.Dec. 407, 447 N.E.2d 842 (1983). An employee, however, need not be reduced to total physical incapacity before a permanent total disability award may be granted.
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