New York is no different than the rest of America in that it is home to many immigrants. Natives of other countries commonly perform at a high level in the workplace and contribute positively to our society. But there are times when these workers may be left feeling they received less than what they deserve.
Workers’ compensation for undocumented immigrants
New York recognizes the right to compensation for all workers who are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is available to injured workers regardless of immigrant status.
Injured workers are eligible for paid healthcare and weekly payments to replace lost wages while healing from injuries. Undocumented workers who are “paid off the books,” working as independent contractors, or receiving income they do not report to the government are just as eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as all other workers in the state. Creative ways to receive payments are commonplace for undocumented workers and do not disqualify them from workers’ compensation benefits.
Other workplace rights for immigrants
The right to workers’ compensation is not the only protection immigrant workers enjoy in New York. It is against the law for employers to decrease pay based on the immigration status of workers. All workers in the state enjoy protection from harassment based on nationality, religion, accent, and other factors that mark them as different from coworkers.
It is illegal to deny a job applicant employment based on their country of birth. Employers are not allowed to punish or discourage workers who speak in their native languages in the workplace. Employers that threaten to call immigration officials in response to a workplace dispute are also violating workplace regulations.
Workers’ compensation laws can become a chore to navigate in the best of situations. But for workers who speak a language other than English or dealing with an ongoing immigration issue, dealing with an injury in the workplace can become a source of discouragement. A lawyer may possess the answers people need.