Injury Risks Faced by Undocumented Workers and How to Reduce Them
Why are Undocumented Workers Often Put into Perilous Situations?
In many cases, undocumented workers hold dangerous jobs because their job prospects in the United States are limited. Undocumented immigrants are also often pressured to take riskier assignments at their jobs than other workers because there is a lower chance of them seeking compensation or speaking out against the assignment or the safety of the job. Abuse of undocumented workers continues to persist because of the low amount of power, actual and perceived, that they frequently have when dealing with employers. The most important thing for any worker to know is that he or she has the right to advocate for his or her health and safety.
Three recent cases show that undocumented workers in New York can recover compensation for their injury damages if they choose to pursue claims. In all three of these cases, the claimants suffered injuries in highly dangerous working conditions in the construction industry. This news follows the recent report discussing an increase in undocumented worker deaths due to lapses in safety precautions amid New York’s current construction blitz.
Do Undocumented Workers Have the Right to Seek Compensation After an Accident?
Yes. Although there are a few exceptions, all workers in the United States are entitled to the same laws that govern their rights and protection, regardless of whether they are undocumented workers, foreign workers in the country with visas, or American citizens. These rights are written into the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law. Additionally, undocumented workers can seek workers’ compensation in New York.
If an individual is eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, he or she can use this route to seek compensation after an injury. Otherwise, he or she can file a personal injury claim to seek the compensation he or she needs.
Can Undocumented Workers Join Labor Unions?
Yes. In fact, many actively recruit foreign-born workers, regardless of their documentation status. Unions exist to protect workers, and by blocking a portion of an industry out of a union, both immigrant and native-born workers can suffer from depressed wages and less favorable working conditions fostered by the competition between the two groups.
Work with an Experienced New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a construction accident, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your damages, regardless of whether you are an American citizen or not. To learn more, contact The Law Office of Robert A. Koenigsberg to schedule your initial legal consultation with an experienced New York construction accident lawyer, during which we can answer your questions and help you determine who to proceed with your claim.