If you are an undocumented immigrant and you have been injured at work, you may be worried about whether you can gain workers’ compensation. Since you are not legally authorized to work in the U.S., it’s understandable that you would be concerned.
There are heavy sanctions imposed on employers who have knowingly employed undocumented immigrants. However, most states recognize that all workers should have fundamental rights, regardless of whether they are documented. Make sure that you understand workers’ compensation laws in New York when taking action to file for workers’ compensation.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is available to workers when they become injured through work activities. The compensation is paid out to prevent workers from suffering financially as a result of their injury. In most cases, workers are entitled to the full coverage of all medical expenses, as well as the coverage of a portion of the wages they lost while taking leave.
Understanding state laws
Some states have statutes in place that explicitly give undocumented workers the right to claim workers’ compensation. All states allow undocumented workers to claim workers’ compensation, except for Wyoming. These statutes make it possible for anyone who is employed and injured due to work-related activities to be entitled to workers’ compensation.
Understanding workers’ compensation
To gain workers’ compensation, workers should act within a certain time period by notifying their employer of their injury. The injured worker’s employer is obligated to provide them with workers’ compensation documents so that they can file a claim. It is only possible to claim workers’ compensation if you can show that your injury was directly related to your work activities and that you were not engaging in horseplay when the injury occurred.
Be wary of your employer’s advice
It’s common for employers to wrongly inform undocumented workers that they are unable to claim workers’ compensation because of their immigration status. This is not the case. Reach out for legal advocacy so that you can stand up for your rights.
If you are concerned about gaining workers’ compensation as an undocumented worker, it’s essential to explore your legal options.