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Claiming workers’ compensation as an undocumented immigrant

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

If you are an immigrant without papers but still engage in work in Connecticut, you may be unsure of the rights that you have. This will be especially true if you become injured on the job. Injuries cost money, and they can also lead to expensive medical bills. It is important that you understand your rights as an undocumented worker.

It is estimated that unauthorized employees comprise 5% of the national workforce. All employees, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to overtime, unpaid wages, and breaks just like any other employee. In addition, state laws make it possible for undocumented immigrants to gain compensation in the event of injury.

Challenging your employer

It can be common for the employer of an undocumented immigrant to try and fight the workers’ compensation claim. They may cite the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and convince an employer that they are ineligible for workers’ compensation.

However, the IRCA puts responsibility in the hands of the employers to make sure that their employees are authorized in the US. The IRCA does not take away any employee’s rights.

You should make sure that you conduct independent research on your rights as an undocumented worker. Taking the advice of your employer may mean that you do not get the compensation that you deserve.

The benefits to which you should be entitled

After an injury, you should notify your employer of the incident and fill in the workers’ compensation forms that they provide. After you have done this, you should be entitled to full compensation for all necessary and reasonable medical expenses. Additionally, you will be able to claim back a portion of the wages that you lost while recovering from your injury.

Fearing retaliation

It is possible that your employer will threaten to retaliate against you as a result of filing for workers’ compensation. They may fire you or otherwise punish you. In this situation, it is important that you take action to understand the law in Connecticut.

If you are worried about your future ability to work after an injury at work, you must take action. There are many legal protections in place for undocumented immigrants, and you should make sure to take advantage of them.