A potentially precedent-setting civil court case in Colorado, in which one BSC sued another for knowingly hiring illegal immigrant workers, ended May 21 with a ruling in the defendant's favor.

A Boulder County judge found Finishing Touch Janitorial Service had not knowingly hired illegal aliens — though it was careless in employment screening practices. Dustbusters, a Boulder-based cleaning contractor, had lost a bid to two local competitors, Finishing Touch and Porter Industries, out of Loveland. Dustbusters' owner, Steve Blacker, subsequently sued the two companies, claiming their use of illegal workers had enabled them to submit lower bids and win contracts.

Porter's battle to exonerate itself from that lawsuit is detailed in our March cover story.

A high percentage of Finishing Touch employees were ineligible for work in the United States from 2005-2007, based on fraudulent documents such as identification cards, Judge Joseph Quinn said, but federal law requires the documents to only reasonably appear genuine to prospective employers.

While the defendant's screening process left much to be desired, Quinn said, they did intend to implement the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' E-Verify, a Web-based employment verification program.

BSCs have been watching this case closely, as it would have likely been the first instance of a contractor successfully suing another for hiring illegals.

To read more, click here.