Premier Workers' Compensation And
Personal Injury Representation

Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to get workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

In a very real way, immigrants built this nation – and they continue to be a vital part of the U.S. workforce. In California, immigrants make up fully one-third of the state’s workforce, and they’re critical in many industries, from farming to health care.

What happens, however, if you’re an immigrant and you get hurt on the job? Can you be denied workers’ compensation because you aren’t a citizen or are undocumented?

It’s your status with your employer, not the government, that matters

California law says that immigration status is not a factor in worker’s compensation claims, even when an injured worker is undocumented. In fact, injured workers are entitled to benefits even when they are temporary, seasonal or part-time – regardless of their legal status with the federal government.

You can, however, be denied workers’ compensation benefits if your employer considers you an independent contractor instead of an employee. Independent contractors are typically in business for themselves, and they do not receive the same benefits as employees. Unfortunately, many employers will accidentally or purposefully misclassify their workers as independent contractors. Many of those workers do not realize what it means to be misclassified until they’re injured and find themselves without recourse for medical care or replacement income.

If you’re an immigrant who was hurt on the job and your employer is telling you that you’re out of luck because you’re not a citizen, undocumented or an independent contractor, you may want to explore your options. With the right legal guidance, you can fight for what you’re due.

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