Employers willing to bend employment law may also break safety rulesSome construction firms are eager to hire undocumented employees or contractors. They know that these workers will likely complain less, work harder and possibly be unfamiliar with their rights. The companies can then get away with not providing adequate safety equipment, proper training or safe work sites. Statistics about construction fatalities support the idea that companies that hire undocumented Hispanic workers, especially young workers, don’t prioritize the safety of their employees. According to a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the American Society of Safety Engineers, Hispanic immigrants under the age of 25 working in construction have a nearly 50% higher risk than other construction workers for a fatal job incident.
Documentation status does not impact your right to compensationIf you got hurt on the job or if you lost a loved one and are not a properly documented immigrant, you may think that you have no rights. In fact, the company involved might even try threatening you with deportation if you take action against them, seek workers’ compensation or file a civil lawsuit. Such threats and actions constitute retaliation against an injured worker and violate federal law. Employees, regardless of their documentation status, have the right to a safe workplace, and to workers’ compensation and legal action when their employers don’t keep them safe.
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