No, You Won’t be Deported for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
If you’re an illegal immigrant, chances are you live in fear of deportation every day. That’s probably why you chose a job where you’re paid for less money than an American worker. You work hard everyday as a busboy to make money to send home. But then one day, as you are making your way back to the kitchen with a pile of dirty dishes, you slip on a puddle of water and fall. Not only did you break the dishes, but you received cuts from the broken shards and may have twisted your ankle in the fall. Your boss, however, is not sympathetic to your injuries. He threatens to have you deported if you file a workers compensation claim. Can he really do that?
Unfortunately, this scenario happens way too often in this country. According to a recent article from The Nation, immigrant workers across the United States deal with injuries they received while on the job after being threatened with deportation. These undocumented workers take the threats seriously and instead of getting the benefits they need to get healthy, the workers suffer with the pain while living in fear of deportation.
According to New Jersey law, any worker who is injured while on the job may receive workers compensation benefits no matter what their citizenship status may be. It may sound strange, considering that it is illegal for companies to hire undocumented workers; however, you still are allowed to get benefits after an accident at work even if you are in the country illegally.
What type of benefits can you claim? Just like the rest of us, an illegal immigrant can claim:
- Medical treatment at the expense of his/her employer
- Temporary disability benefits if you are unable to work (based upon medical opinion)
- Any compensation for the injuries you sustained if the injuries has some level of permanent functional limitations in the way you work or live (for instance, you lost a couple of fingers in the accident).
But what about deportation? Can your employer get you deported? Actually, no. In fact, it’s illegal for an employer to threaten or report a worker to the Immigration and Nationality Service. Surprising, yes?
If you are an undocumented worker who was injured while on the job or in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, know your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.