Workers' Compensation for Illegal Alien Workers
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation was created to give employers and employees fair compensation in lieu of a formal judicial process if any injury occurred while "on the job." Its purpose is to provide compensation for disability or death that may result from an occupational injury. It is important to note that workers' compensation is not insurance, rather it removes the employer negligence claim and replaces it with a set legal process.
Who Qualifies for Workers' Compensation?
Generally, legal employees of a company will qualify for workers' compensation. An employee, for purposes of workers' compensation coverage, is any person who has entered into or works under any contract of service with an employer.
How Do Courts View Illegal Aliens in Terms of Workers' Compensation?
There is a split of authority as to whether illegal aliens may benefit from workers' compensation coverage. The views of authority include:
- Some courts have concluded that an alien of any nationality is an "employee" and is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Other courts have held that because there is no causal connection between a misrepresentation of legally being able to work and an occupational injury suffered, the worker's status does not prevent him from receiving benefits.
- Some courts have denied all workers' compensation benefits to illegal aliens. A number of courts have based this conclusion on that illegal aliens do not fit the "employee" definition within workers' compensation statutes. However, recently a trend indicates that the term "employee" will include illegal aliens regarding workers' compensation. These denials of benefits may soon be revised.
- Finally, some courts have recognized that illegal alien employees may be entitled to some workers' compensation benefits. Benefits that were rewarded among these cases were rehabilitation and wage disability benefits.
Should I Seek an Attorney to Assist Me with My Workers' Compensation Benefits Case?
Although workers' compensation can be somewhat straighforward, often times there will be a judicial process involved. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will support and guide you through your case and protect your interests.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 09-29-2011 02:25 PM PDT
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