Usually, undocumented immigrants work in dangerous professions, such as agriculture, factory work, or construction. When an immigrant is injured at work, he or she may be reluctant to request workers’ compensation benefits due to his or her immigration status.
Illinois law protects all injured workers, and provides benefits regardless of their immigration status.
If you have been injured at work, the attorneys at Grupo MedLegal in Chicago, Illinois, can help you to obtain benefits due to a workplace accident, even if you are not in the country legally.
Each state has different regulations for injured workers who are undocumented.
In Illinois, the highest state courts have determined that “foreigners” have protection under workers’ compensation laws, no matter if that foreigner is here legally or illegally.
In fact, when an injured worker presents a benefits claim, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission cannot consider the person’s immigration status. The decision to concede benefits is made without taking into account if the worker entered the United States in a legal way or not.
Special Problems for Undocumented Immigrants
Undocumented immigrants often fear being deported if they come into contact with the government to seek help.
Many employers take advantage of this fear, and threated injured workers with deportation or other legal action if they seek workers’ compensation payments.
These threats are illegal. In Illinois, you have the right to request payment for your injuries after a workplace accident. Additionally, you are protected from retaliation from your employer if you make a claim for benefits.
All employers of foreigners, whether documented or not, must pay compensation for all workers. This system eliminates any incentive to only hire undocumented workers for the purpose of avoiding workers’ compensation payment.
What Should You Do After a Workplace Accident?
If you are an undocumented immigrant and you were hurt on the job, know that you have rights.
After an injury, you always must inform your supervisor that you were injure. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and maintain records of all witnesses of your accident.
Always go to the doctor, even if your employer tells you that the company will not pay benefits. Keep your medical records in a safe place. Remember that the company doctor works for the company, but Grupo MedLegal’s accident doctors work for you; they are authorized by the state to put you on disability and they will cure you. Be sure to report your case as soon as possible to avoid losing it.
Then, you should find an experienced lawyer who works with compensation for work accidents. Contact a lawyer with experience in immigration law and workers’ compensation so that your rights will be protected after an injury.