If you ever get injured at your workplace, you may have a long list of concerns about how it can affect your finances. This can be doubly complex for those who are facing immigration problems. There have been quite a lot of cases where people are worried about their immigration status and wonder whether they can avail their worker’s comp benefits. Well, let us clear one thing first – the status of your immigration does not have anything to do with the benefits you are entitled to in case you get injured at work.
Worker’s Compensation and Immigration Status
It is important to keep in mind that worker’s comp is a fundamental right for every worker in the U.S. Immigration status doesn’t have anything to do with the compensation and individual is entitled to. If you work in the U.S and you got injured during your shift, you have certain rights and you have the legal entitlement to said rights no matter what your citizenship status is.
Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of cases where illegal immigrants are scared to protect their rights or file their claims. It is important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t be afraid of filing a claim if you get injured. This is because every worker is legally entitled to certain benefits, which may include temporary disability compensation, medical treatment and compensation for permanent disability.
In some cases, injured parties even qualify for lifetime medical benefits if their injuries are severe. Remember, the court does not consider the status of your immigration when deciding a fair compensation to your work related injury.
More often than not, illegal immigrants are afraid of filing claims because others may have told them that it could put their family in danger and may cause get them deported from the country. While most of these people may mean well, they may not be aware of the actual law. There are also people whose employers tend to threaten them because of their immigration status. If your employer does this too, they are essentially breaking the law and you may have a civil discrimination lawsuit against them.
Undocumented workers or anyone who is living in the U.S illegally doesn’t need to be afraid. This is because everybody has worker’s compensation rights if they get injured during their shift. If your employer asks you questions regarding your immigration status when you are injured at work, you don’t need to answer. Instead, it would be better to call an experienced, reliable lawyer to help you get a fair compensation.
Important thing to Know about California Workers Comp
Entitlement to worker’s comp mostly depends on the state’s law. The law in most states dictates that any worker, no matter what their immigration status is, can qualify for worker’s comp if their injury falls in the regulations present in the worker’s comp law.
Courts state that the worker’s compensation law isn’t preemptive of the IRCA (the Immigration Reform and Control Act. For those wondering, the IRCA is essentially a Nationality and Immigration Act amendment that was introduced for controlling high rates of illegal immigration.
Does Reporting a Work Related Incident Result in Deportation?
There are plenty of cases where undocumented immigrants are employed at dangerous and difficult jobs. Of course, this increases the risk of different injuries during the job. Unfortunately, a large number of workers are afraid of reporting any work related injuries, mainly because of the fear of getting deported.
However, it is vital to keep in mind that undocumented workers and illegal immigrants can receive worker’s comp benefits. According to federal law, employers have to refuse hiring undocumented workers or even fire them after learning about their immigration status. That said, this requirement does not have any bearing on being eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Despite that, plenty of employers try and dissuade their workers (the undocumented ones from filing benefits.)
Sanctions and various fines result once the government learns that an employer hired undocumented workers. The main purpose of these penalties is to ensure employers don’t hire any undocumented workers in the future. Immigration officials usually get involved in the matter when employers report their worker to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
What Happens To Your Immigration Case Once a Worker Reports a Claim
If employers turn their undocumented injured workers to ICE, said workers could get deported. In some cases, undocumented immigrants have the authorization to continue working if their case is pending. For instance, when someone applies for a green card through a citizen spouse who lives in the U.S, they could avoid deportation.
Similarly, people who apply for asylum may get permission to continue working in the U.S for a particular period while they wait for their pending case’s verdict. If you find yourself in any of these situations, it would be best to consult with a reliable lawyer who has experience dealing with immigration cases.
If an employer wants to hire an immigrant who is undocumented, they have the option to sponsor them for a work visa. There are different types of work visas option available, with the H1B visa being the most common option.
If you are a California resident and are your employer is trying to dissuade you from getting your benefits after you get injured at work, consider getting in touch with Latimer Law. Our expert attorneys have years of experience dealing with workers’ compensation cases in California.
Simply call us on 510-444-6555 and ask any questions you may have about your. You can also book a free consultationand find out the value of your claim.