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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