Watch Out for "Undocumented but Undaunted: Immigrant Youth at Work in the Nonprofit Sector"

Exploitation is not waived through consent. It is critical that undocumented labor is not exploited under the pretext that it is unlawful to compensate undocumented students for their work. Doing so serves only to perpetuate a cycle of exploitation, a practice common throughout the history of immigration in this country. America wants and needs undocumented immigrants but is unwilling to pay them for the work they do. These stories reveal the ingenuity, drive, and tenacity of undocumented immigrant youth.

Written by Tam Tran and Prerna Lal and coming soon to Non Profit Quarterly.

The ironic part is that we were not paid for this piece but lets call it our non-profit contribution.

Know Your Rights – Undocumented Workers Entitled to Workers' Compensation

The need to institute fair labor laws and protections across the board, regardless of immigration status, is something I have blogged about previously–and the courts in many states agree!

Take this decision from South Carolina as an example, rendered just last December:

In a decision that is sure to unleash political firestorms at both the state and national level, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled last week that illegal immigrants have the same right as any other worker to receive payments from the state’s workers’ compensation system.

In the matter of Curiel v. Environmental Management Services, the Court ruled unanimously that “disallowing benefits would mean unscrupulous employers could hire undocumented workers without the burden of insuring them, a consequence that would encourage rather than discourage the hiring of illegal workers.”

Here is a guide to states with rights for undocumented workers to claim workers’ compensation –

Here is a list of rights undocumented workers have in California

  • To receive a minimum wage of $8 per hour
  • To earn overtime pay — with some exceptions — after working more than eight hours per day or more than 40 hours in one week
  • To file wage claims with the state labor commissioner if they believe their employer has violated state wage laws
  • To file workplace safety and health complaints with Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety and health program
  • To work in an environment free from retaliation for exercising their rights.

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