What happens you hire an illegal immigrant and she steals from you? 5 Answers as of October 19, 2010

I have a maid who comes in once a week to clean my house, and I am pretty sure that she is an illegal immigrant. Recently, I have noticed more and more things missing around the house – a few dollars I had set aside for my son, my jewelry, a bottle of alcohol. I am sure she has been stealing from me. Can I take any legal action, or will I be at fault for hiring an illegal worker?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
You should contact the police whenever anyone steals your property. You should prepare a journal of dates, property taken and the names and phone numbers of any potential witnesses to the case.

If the maid is prosecuted, you are entitled to restitution for all property taken by her. This is a common term of probation, and she will not be taken off probation until you are fully reimbursed.

You could also sue her in Court for the value of the property, but those cases are difficult to prove and you might be unable to collect any judgment won against her. Usually, a criminal prosecution is the best way to get reimbursed by a criminal.

You may be in violation of federal labor laws for hiring an illegal worker. You should always get a copy of someone's "green card" or other immigration documents, to protect yourself from any penalties for this labor law violation. Since I am not a labor law attorney, you should contact a labor law attorney for specific answers about those penalties.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Theft is theft, no matter who does it. You can file criminal charges and/or a civil lawsuit to recover the money. There is little likelihood of you facing problems for hiring a housecleaner, unless you plan on running for political office someday.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2010
The English Law Firm
The English Law Firm | Robert English
Hiring an illegal worker does not give that worker a "pass" for a theft crime. However, you could face consequences for your action of hiring independent of your workers criminal acts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/18/2010
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Criminal courts do not care about someones legal status. If you feel she is stealing and you want her to be found guilty you should set up a camera to catch her in the act. With what you have is possibly enough to get her arrested but not for sure. You may suffer issues yourself from hiring an illegal so decide what the value is to you. Many times it is cheaper to let her go then to get the police involved. Next time when you hire someone be more careful.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/18/2010
Click to View More Answers: