There are thousands of undocumented workers across the United States. Knowing your rights as an undocumented worker is paramount for your safety and well-being. It is also very important that undocumented workers understand how the law in California may work differently as compared to the law in other states.
Compared to other states in the United States, California has very generous laws that protect undocumented workers, documented workers and US citizens. According to Legal Aid at Work, California employment law does include undocumented workers concerning matters of workers’ compensation.
What am I eligible for?
As an undocumented worker in the state of California, you are eligible for the exact same workers compensation benefits as documented workers if you sustain an injury at your job site. This includes benefits that cover the cost of any medical treatment that you may need and may even include lost wages in certain circumstances.
However, it is possible that you are not eligible for certain job retraining benefits if you are an undocumented worker. If your employer fires you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may also not be able to recover wages lost due to your employer firing you. Much depends on your individual situation. However, rest assured that the law protects you and you will not face deportation for claiming workers’ compensation.
How can I file for workers’ compensation as an undocumented worker?
You do so the exact same way that a documented worker would, by asking your employer for the claim form. In the event that your employer does not give you a claim form, then you should contact the California state Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.