Undocumented workers are unable to take advantage of many of the rights and privileges that citizens or non-citizens with work permits can. But when it comes to injuries on the job, undocumented workers do have rights.
In New York, if you are an undocumented worker who was injured on the job, you may be able to file a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages. These lawsuits can help you recover the cost of your medical care, lost wages and other damages. You can file the lawsuit under two circumstances. Someone other than your employer or co-worker must have caused the injury, because you generally cannot sue your employer for injuries at work.
Second, you must not have knowingly made false statements to obtain work authorization. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (ICRA) makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire illegal aliens. It also prohibits illegal workers to submit false documents to get work. As long as you did not do anything that violates the law, you can recover lost wages for job injuries – even if you are an undocumented worker.
This is good news for undocumented workers because they often work in dangerous industries such as maintenance, construction and transportation. Immigrant workers may also take on high-risk assignments on the job. They fear that they could be fired for refusing.
You have rights if you are injured on the job. An experienced New York personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you pursue the compensation you need.
For more information, see: Undocumented aliens may sue for work injuries