Workers’ Compensation for Undocumented Workers
We can help you navigate this complex situation
California’s workers’ compensation system is for all employees, regardless of immigration status. If you’re hurt on the job, you get workers’ comp, period.
However, undocumented workers have understandable concerns about the implications of filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you’ve been hurt on the job, the way forward is to talk to an attorney who will listen to your story and protect all your rights. That’s why you need to talk to McLaughlin & Sanchez today.
California law protects undocumented workers’ right to workers’ compensation
California Labor Code 1171.5 establishes that all protections, rights, and remedies available under the law apply to all California workers regardless of immigration status. That includes workers’ compensation. The law also establishes that no inquiry will be made into your immigration status in the course of workers’ compensation proceedings unless the person trying to make the inquiry can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the inquiry is necessary to comply with federal immigration law.
In addition, filing for workers’ compensation as an undocumented worker is not considered workers’ compensation fraud. For instance, if you falsely claimed you were authorized to work in the United States when you got the job, that is irrelevant to your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, as the false claim is related to employment, not the work injury itself. The question is whether you were employed at the time of the injury, not whether you should have been employed.
Specific workers’ compensation benefits can be affected by immigration status
Workers’ compensation provides temporary disability benefits for employees who aren’t able to work for a period of time while recovering from their injuries. It also provides benefits for job displacement and retraining under some circumstances and protects your reinstatement to your job after your recovery. Your immigration status can affect those benefits under some circumstances if it affects your eligibility to work in the United States more generally.
However, the workers’ compensation system in general does not discriminate based on immigration status. You can still get benefits for your medical treatment and permanent disability, and you can still settle your claim. The point of workers’ compensation is to create a safe workplace and protect injured workers, regardless of fault. If it were possible to deny benefits based on immigration status, that would create opportunities for unethical employers to cheat the system.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the system
At McLaughlin & Sanchez, we are proud to represent workers throughout the San Diego area and beyond, regardless of their immigration status. We also understand that for some workers, there is more at stake as they navigate the workers’ compensation system. That’s why legal representation is so important. We can help you move your claim forward and fight for the benefits you are entitled to receive by law, without making your situation worse.
If you’ve been hurt on the job, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. There’s no cost and no obligation, just answers about your legal rights and options as an injured worker. Naturally, our conversation is fully confidential as well. Protect your rights and get strong legal representation as you move forward from a work injury. Contact us today.