While the laws around worker’s compensation claims and insurance are different in each state, here in California, we have some of the most comprehensive and enforceable. One area of concern with this type of claim deals with the undocumented worker. Because California has one of the highest undocumented populations, making up nearly 10% of the total workforce, provisions for these individuals are of serious importance. It’s critical that if you or someone you love is an undocumented worker, and you’re hurt on the job, you know your rights. Too often, undocumented workers are afraid to speak up and get the help they need when they’re injured.
Thankfully, here in California, worker’s compensation insurance expressly covers ALL workers, even those without documentation. The state appeals court ruled that all undocumented workers have full coverage and compensation under worker’s comp laws. However, it doesn’t make the process of winning a claim any easier- this is where it is helpful to have an experienced worker’s comp attorney in Southern California to help with your case.
Unfortunately, illegally-hired employees are particularly susceptible to abuse and discrimination, especially when they are injured on the job. Some employers may try to discourage them from seeking medical care, or from filing any kind of official claim. But there are still resources out there to help injured undocumented workers, including law firms like Jackson & Jackson. Because when you’re injured, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your job or being deported; you should be treated with care, and allowed the same time and compensation for your recovery as any other worker. In addition to worker’s compensation benefits, undocumented workers are also covered by other job protections in California like anti-discrimination provisions and overtime benefits.
Some people are too afraid to file a worker’s compensation claim, for fear of deportation. And while the authorities (ICE) do sometimes use legal proceedings to find undocumented workers, there are some protections in place to prevent this. The official policy of California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement expressly forbids the questioning of anyone’s immigration status. Other California authorities have taken a stand to prevent ICE from entering courtrooms or other government areas, without prior authorization or warrant, with the intent of finding undocumented workers. While none of these laws are perfect 100% of the time, it’s important to know that there are people on your side, protecting your access to your worker’s compensation benefits.
If you or a member of your family are an undocumented worker, reach out to us to learn more about your worker’s compensation rights. Get in touch with a Long Beach workers compensation lawyer at Jackson & Jackson today and request your free consultation.