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Florida Legislators Discuss Change In Law That Punishes Injured Immigrant Workers

A Florida lawmaker stated that he would file papers to ensure that employers and insurance companies pay workers’ compensation benefits to undocumented immigrant workers who are injured on the job. The measure looks to correct that the issue that these individuals are typically denied any benefits.

An investigation by Naples Daily News determined that some Florida businesses pocket money by hiring immigrants who are undocumented. That is because many workers are afraid to report them for fear of possible deportation. Additionally, the workers’ compensation insurance carriers could also deny these claims so they do not have to pay any medical or wage loss benefits to the injured employee.

In this situation, employers and insurance companies oftentimes raise what is called “the fraud defense”. Their position is that if a worker uses a fake IDs or social security number to get a job and later suffers a work related injury, their claims are deemed fraudulent. That section of the law however was meant to punish people who attempt to cheat the workers’ compensation system and not those who suffered legitimate injuries. Just because you may not have the right to work here, does not necessarily when that fraud is being committed.

Accordingly, several representatives believe that it simply isn’t fair to these injured workers and that if businesses hire immigrants blindly, without checking their documents, they should be held accountable to provide workers’ compensation benefits to undocumented workers. As such, an amendment has been proposed to require employers and insurance companies to pay any legitimate claims of injury to these individuals if the employer failed to verify their right to work in the United States.

If you or someone close to you is in a situation like this, you need help ASAP! Please get in touch with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney by contacting Evan at the Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A. , (954) 227-7529, Toll Free (866) I SUE YOU, (866) 478-3968 or evan@attorney4life.com.

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