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Are Undocumented Workers Entitled to Workers Compensation?

libertyUndocumented workers have traditionally tried to stay “under the radar” to avoid problems, but what happens when someone experiences an injury on the job and needs compensation? If a person has been working for a company and suffers an injury that requires medical attention, is he or she on the hook for the cost of medical treatment due to a lack of proper documentation?

Luckily, in New York and a few other states, the answer is “no.”

New York workers, documented or undocumented, are able to receive medical care and workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. The law recognizes how unfair it would be for someone doing his or her job day in and day out to not receive support if they are injured doing that job.

Furthermore, the law wants to protect against employers hiring undocumented workers just so they can avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance.

In New York, it doesn’t matter if a worker is documented or undocumented, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation as long as the requirements for collecting workers’ comp are met. Workers’ compensation benefits in the state are the same for all workers, even if they are undocumented.

Employers are Discouraged from Taking Advantage of an Employee’s Undocumented Status

Workers’ compensation can be a complicated situation for anyone. The experience can be even more intimidating if you are an undocumented worker. If you’re undocumented and you are injured on the job, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney, even if your workers’ compensation has yet to hit a snag.

Unfortunately, there are situations in which employers will find a reason to terminate an employee who is attempting to use his or her workers’ comp benefits. This is especially true when an employee is undocumented and the employer believes there will be no response to their action.

Too many employers take advantage of their situation and try to skirt the laws because they know undocumented workers don’t want to make waves. When it comes to a workers’ compensation claim, you should never allow this to happen to you. The laws were designed to discourage employers from taking advantage of illegal workers and are in place to protect you as a worker, regardless of your immigration status.

Every employer and every employee is subject to New York Workers’ Compensation Law if doing business in New York. The only exceptions include federal employees and longshoreman.

For more information about workers’ compensation laws in New York, check out the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board website.

Should You Contact an Attorney If You’re Undocumented and Need to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Under New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law, just about any individual giving their time to a for-profit business will be classified as an employee and be entitled to the benefits workers’ compensation insurance provides. Undocumented workers do not sacrifice their right to benefits, nor should receiving benefits affect their immigration status.

For more information or to speak to someone about discrimination against undocumented workers, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. for more information.

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