Does Title VII apply to the spouse of an illegal immigrant?
Abstract: Not long after a bank learned that one of its employees had joint accounts at the bank with a known undocumented alien — her husband — it fired her, concerned that fraudulent documentation may have been involved. She sued under Title VII, claiming national origin discrimination. The Seventh Circuit agreed with the lower court that it was the husband’s undocumented status, and not his national origin, that led to her discharge. The question then became whether Title VII protects against "alienage-based" discrimination. This article explains the court’s decision that it does not. Citation: Cortezano v. Salin Bank and Trust Company, No. 11-1631, May 21, 2012 (7th Cir.); Espinoza v. Farah Manufacturing Company, No. 414 U.S. 86, Nov. 19, 1973 (Supreme Court)