Undocumented workers are those who work in the United States without legal authorization. According to the Pew Research Center, there are an estimated 7.6 million undocumented workers in the US, representing 4.6% of the total workforce.
Undocumented workers work in various sectors or industries, such as agriculture, construction, domestic service, hospitality, trade, etc. These sectors are often the most in demand and the least regulated, which means that undocumented workers face precarious and risky working conditions.
Undocumented workers are at risk of suffering workplace accidents that can affect their health and finances. However, many of them are unaware of their rights or are afraid to claim them for fear of losing their jobs or being deported.
In this article, we will explain the rights that undocumented workers have in the event of a workplace accident in the United States, as well as the importance of having the advice and representation of a specialized workplace accident lawyer if you have suffered one or know someone who has.
Also, check out: How to Choose the Best Accident Lawyer in New York
Rights of Undocumented Workers in the Event of a Workplace Accident in the US
Despite the difficulties and risks faced by undocumented workers in the US, they have rights in the event of a workplace accident that they must know and claim.
The rights of undocumented workers in the event of a workplace accident in the US are:
– The right to receive compensation for their damages and losses resulting from the accident. This compensation may cover medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other provable concepts.
– The right to receive compensation regardless of their immigration status. Federal law and most state laws establish that all workers have the right to receive compensation for a workplace accident regardless of whether they are citizens, residents, or undocumented.
– The right to receive compensation without fear of retaliation or deportation. Federal law and most state laws prohibit employers from taking discriminatory or punitive measures against workers who claim compensation for a workplace accident. In addition, federal law protects the confidentiality of undocumented workers’ personal information and prohibits it from being shared with immigration authorities.
These rights are mandatory for both employers and insurance companies. Failure to comply with them can result in administrative sanctions and civil and criminal liabilities.
How to Claim Compensation for a Workplace Accident in the US
To obtain compensation for a workplace accident in the US, undocumented migrants must follow these steps:
– Notify the employer about the accident as soon as possible. Request a copy of the accident report and keep it as evidence.
– Go to the doctor as soon as possible to receive specialized medical attention. Follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor and keep a record of all medical visits, diagnoses, medications, bills, and receipts. These documents will serve to demonstrate the severity of the injuries and the medical expenses incurred.
– Contact a specialized workplace accident lawyer as soon as possible to receive legal advice and representation. A lawyer can guide the migrant on their rights and legal options, as well as help them obtain fair compensation for their damages and losses.
– File a claim with the employer’s insurance company under the workers’ compensation system.
To determine the best legal option for each case, it is necessary to have the advice and representation of a specialized workplace accident lawyer.
What is an Undocumented Worker and Which Sectors or Industries Employ the Most Undocumented Workers in the US
An undocumented worker is a person who works in the United States without legal authorization to do so. This may be because they entered the country without a valid visa or permit, or because they stayed longer than allowed by their visa or permit.
Undocumented workers are an important part of the labor force in the US, as they perform essential tasks for the economy and society. However, they are also a vulnerable and unprotected part, as they suffer discrimination, exploitation, abuse, and violation of their labor rights.
The sectors or industries that employ the most undocumented workers in the US are:
– Agriculture: According to the US Department of Agriculture, undocumented workers represent 47% of agricultural labor. These workers perform tasks such as harvesting, planting, watering, fertilizing, and packing fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products.
– Construction: According to the Pew Research Center, undocumented workers represent 15% of the labor force in construction. These workers perform tasks such as masonry, carpentry, electricity, plumbing, and painting.
– Domestic service: According to the Economic Policy Institute, undocumented workers represent 23% of the labor force in domestic service. These workers perform tasks such as cleaning, cooking, caring for children or elderly people, and running errands.
– Hospitality: According to the Pew Research Center, undocumented workers represent 9% of the labor force in hospitality. These workers perform tasks such as preparing and serving food and beverages, cleaning rooms and common areas, and attending to customers.
– Trade: According to the Pew Research Center, undocumented workers represent 8% of the labor force in trade. These workers perform tasks such as selling products or services, storing merchandise, and making deliveries.
These sectors or industries are often the most in demand and the least regulated in the US, which means that undocumented workers face precarious and risky working conditions such as long and exhausting working hours, low wages without benefits, lack of training and safety equipment, exposure to chemical, biological or physical agents, threats, intimidation or harassment by employers or colleagues, lack of legal or union protection. These conditions increase the likelihood that undocumented workers will suffer workplace accidents that can affect their health and finances.
Also, check out: How to protect your job and benefits after a workplace accident?
Types of Common Workplace Accidents that Undocumented Workers in the US Suffer
Workplace accidents are those that occur during work activities or in transit to or from the workplace. These accidents can cause injuries, illnesses, or even death to workers.
The most common types of workplace accidents that undocumented workers in the US suffer are:
Falls: These accidents occur when workers fall from a height or at the same level. They can be caused by slippery, irregular, or unstable surfaces, lack of railings or protections, tripping or pushing, etc. These accidents can cause fractures, sprains, bruises, head or spinal cord injuries, etc.
Impacts: These accidents occur when workers receive an impact or pressure from an object or machine. They can be caused by defective or improperly used tools, falling objects or materials, entrapment or crushing, etc. These accidents can cause cuts, wounds, hemorrhages, amputations, internal injuries, etc.
Burns: These accidents occur when workers come into contact with a source of extreme heat or cold. They can be caused by fire, electricity, chemicals, steam, hot or cold liquids, etc. These accidents can cause damage to the skin, tissues and internal organs, as well as infections or shock.
Toxicity: These accidents occur when workers inhale, ingest or absorb toxic or harmful substances. They can be caused by pesticides, solvents, gases, fumes, dust, etc. These accidents can cause irritation, allergy, suffocation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, seizures, coma or death.
Illnesses: These are conditions that develop as a result of prolonged or repeated exposure to occupational hazards. They can be caused by biological agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.), physical (noise, vibration, radiation, etc.), chemical (metals, solvents, acids, etc.) or psychosocial (stress, anxiety, depression, etc.). These diseases can cause infections, allergies, inflammations, cancer, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, mental disorders.
These accidents and illnesses can have serious consequences for the physical and mental health of undocumented workers. Some of these consequences are:
– Pain and suffering
– Permanent or temporary disability
– Loss of functions or limbs
– Loss of quality of life
– Dependence on medication or treatments
– Social or family isolation
– Low self-esteem or confidence
– Anxiety or fear
Also, check out: The Documents You Need to File an Accident Lawsuit
In addition to health consequences, workplace accidents and illnesses can also have economic consequences for undocumented workers. Some of these consequences are:
– Present and future medical expenses
– Loss of present and future income
– Loss of job or professional opportunities
– Loss of property or belongings
– Indebtedness or poverty
These consequences can affect not only undocumented workers but also their families and communities.
El equipo de redactores de Law4you está compuesto por un grupo de abogados especializados en casos de accidentes de construcción, trabajo, de tránsito y lesiones personales. Cada miembro del equipo cuenta con amplia experiencia en su área de especialización y están comprometidos en ofrecer la mejor defensa y compensación a sus clientes de la comunidad latina.