There is a new law being considered by Florida lawmakers to protect unauthorized immigrants who get injured on the job. It would prevent insurance companies from denying workers’ compensation benefits to employees who are legally not permitted to work. Plus, it could help prevent them from being arrested and/or deported.
Oftentimes when an illegal alien suffers an industrial accident, the employer and/or their workers’ compensation insurance company reports it to law enforcement. Thereafter, the employee is arrested, faces felony charges for using fake identification in securing their job and/or are deported. As a result, the employers and/or the insurers avoid paying thousands of dollars in damages to the injured person.
The situation that became routine in 2003 after a provision was added into the law. It made it illegal to file a claim while using fraudulent identification such as a work permit, “green card” and/or a social security card. Without a change, it would allow shady employers to continue hiring unauthorized workers, knowing that they cannot be held financially responsible in the event that they are ever injured on the job. Consequently, their workers’ compensation insurance companies would not have to spend anything on the claims as well! In fact, many alien workers won’t even report a claim for fear of arrest and deportation.
The new bill would do away with the false identity issue and make the statute clearer so it only applies to those who commit traditional workers’ compensation fraud. For example, making a false injury claim, receiving lost wages when a worker is not otherwise entitled to them, lying about prior injuries, etc. The reason for this proposed change is that workers’ compensation claims involves state law while immigration is federal. As such, an injured Florida worker, regardless of their residency status deserves protection in the workplace.
Please note that if are an injured Florida worker and you’ve been denied workers’ compensation benefits after suffering an on-the-job injury, contact the Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A. immediately at (866) I SUE YOU, (866) 478-3968, (954) 227-7529, firstname.lastname@example.org for a no obligation consultation.