Most construction workers in New York are immigrants, and more than half of these immigrant workers are undocumented. Regardless of immigration or employment status, all construction workers have rights designed to protect them if they’re injured on the job.
Landowners and contractors often exploit undocumented construction workers by using threats of deportation or contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Lack of employment authorization, English proficiency, and social safety nets makes undocumented workers especially vulnerable to their employers. Undocumented workers are often hired at “shape ups,” locations where employers needing workers will come and choose laborers from a group of candidates. Many workers hired at shape ups don’t know they’re being exploited. They're sent to some of the most hazardous construction sites and/or jobs without receiving basic safety training or equipment. Employers assume if an undocumented worker is injured, they can simply hire a replacement at the next shape up.
However, if an undocumented New Yorker is injured while working on a construction site, their immigration status shouldn’t matter at all. All workers, undocumented or not, have the right to pursue workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim if they are injured because of an unsafe work environment. When it comes to undocumented construction workers seeking compensation for their injuries, they cannot be questioned about their immigration status, and cannot be reported to the authorities. Their undocumented status should never prevent construction workers from exercising their rights.
Through workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits, undocumented workers, and U.S. citizens alike, can stand up and fight back against these intimidating employers.
If an undocumented worker is hurt while working on a construction site and cannot continue to work, their next step should be to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp will cover an injured employee’s medical expenses and partial lost wages. Of course, the dollar amount of workers’ compensation an injured worker can receive depends on the severity of the injuries, the overall costs, and the type of claim made. Personal Injury Attorneys are available to help navigate this process and make sure workers get the maximum available compensation.
A major concern for filing a worker’s comp claim is that it could lead to unwanted outcomes, specifically deportation. While this is a valid concern— there are powerful laws in place to protect undocumented migrant workers. Under New York City’s Human Rights Law, immigration status cannot be used against undocumented workers, and makes it illegal for employers to deport workers for exercising their rights after an injury. Not only do workers have the right to file for workers’ comp; they may also have a case to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuits:
New York has powerful state laws, known as “Labor Law,” which protect all workers in the state.
Every worker is protected by these laws, no matter their immigration or employment status. Under Labor Law, all landowners, developers, and contractors are required to provide a safe working environment. If these laws are violated and someone is injured on the job, personal injury lawyers can help hold the responsible parties accountable.
No personal injury lawsuit is exactly the same, but in order to get positive outcomes, construction workers need a reputable personal injury attorney to fight for them. With settlements and verdicts that can reach millions of dollars, companies and insurers will battle against your personal injury lawsuit every step of the way. These insurance companies may try to use the status of an undocumented worker against them. They may even threaten deportation. But a personal injury attorney can help receive the compensation workers deserve, without any risk of deportation or information being shared with authorities regarding an undocumented status.
Attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff is one of New York’s top rated construction accident and personal injury lawyers. He has a track record of winning large awards for undocumented migrant workers. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt, and you don’t deserve to become a victim twice.
Have you heard “The Bull” mentioned on Power 105.1? There’s a reason Michael has the name, he’s tough and never gives up. Call Michael “The Bull” Lamonsoff today if you want to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. 212.962.1020.
Or send him a message by clicking or tapping here: www.msllegal.com/contact/
This article published by The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff in partnership with Power 105.1 is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing this article, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the publishers. The article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.