A recent report shows that undocumented immigrants, particularly Latinos who are injured on the job, file fewer workers’ compensation claims. According to a report on Vida en el Valle, there is an underestimation of the number of Latinos who fail to receive compensation, who fail to report their injuries or who receive nominal, if any, compensation for them. The report states that Latinos who are undocumented fare far worse with regard to workers’ compensation claims.
This information was revealed earlier this month in a forum in Sacramento titled “Latino Immigrants: Deaths, Denials and Discrimination, a Conversation” where labor leaders, attorneys and other experts talked about how workers’ compensation claims may worsen under the Trump administration. About 79 percent of the nation’s undocumented immigrants are Latino, with 2.4 million or 22 percent living in California. In the state’s workforce, it is estimated that about one in 10 workers is undocumented.
Also, in 2014, Latinos accounted for more than half (59.4 percent) of injuries and over a third (37.8 percent) of deaths in California’s workplaces. However, Latinos are less likely to file workers’ compensation claims in California. And yet, they have higher rates of work-related injuries, are less likely to seek medical attention, have limited or no access to medical facilities, and face the highest percentage of retaliation at work. An area where workers’ compensation claims go virtually unreported is in California’s agricultural fields.
With the heightened concern under the Trump administration of raids and deportations among the undocumented workforce, experts believe this is a critical time when Latino and undocumented workers need help with workers’ compensation claims. This, they say, is crucial because without this workforce, California’s economy could suffer significantly. These are vulnerable communities and their rights should be defended, experts say.
Latino and immigrant workers suffer more injuries and fatalities on the job because they are employed in more high-risk industries such as packaging, food processing and truck driving. Undocumented men and women who work in these industries hesitate to report their injuries because they are afraid of losing their jobs or getting deported and becoming separated from their families.
Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, D-San Diego, has introduced a bill to the state legislature, which will bring workers’ compensation coverage for day laborers who are injured on the job. What this bill does is include workers who are employed or contracted for less than 52 hours. So, the bill, AB 206, is expected to make day laborers eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the top three jobs done by day laborers include construction, moving/hauling and painting. About 40,000 day laborers work in California.
If you have been injured while on the job, there are a number of steps you would be well advised to take regardless of your immigration status. Here are a few actions to take immediately after your injury:
Workers compensation insurance essentially provides five basic benefits to injured workers and their families:
The experienced workers compensation lawyers Glendale at the ODG Law Group provide compassionate and quality legal representation to injured workers and their families – regardless of their immigration status. We understand and respect the significant contributions made by immigrant workers in the Greater Los Angeles area and around the country and consider it our honor to protect and defend these workers’ right to fair compensation. If you have been injured on the job, please contact us at 818-230-2428 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.
I have been working for a famous hotel in Los Angeles for more than 2.5 years when an accident happened inside the hotel and I had meniscus tear of my right knee and back pain. After I found out the management didn’t care of my situation I decided to get an attorney, so I researched on the computer and I found ODG Law Group. I met with Leanna and she explained how she can help me. Because she was very nice and honest person I signed a contract and she accepted my case. After few years I decided to settle my case and I was happy about it. I also want to thanks to Tina. She is very nice person and every time I contact her she helped me with good manner. Thank you ODG Law Group for your professional work.
~J.Y. Glendale CA
They helped me out when no one else would. They took the time to listen and were compassionate and patient. They have a wonderful and supportive staff. I always felt safe and cared for. They helped me reach a satisfactory conclusion to my case.
~A.C., Burbank, CA
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