Immigrants, both legal and non-legal, compose a critical fraction of the American workforce. According to the most recent estimates approximated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, foreign-born workers made up 17 percent (or nearly 1/5th) of the United States labor force as of 2020.

These individuals lend important contributions to many different industries and overall society at large. But what happens when a non-legal worker in California is sidelined from working due to a workplace injury or illness exposure?

Will they be able to recompense the things they lost through their injury? Will they even be able to safely file a worker’s compensation claim without facing the risk of themselves or their loved ones being deported? Moreover, what can they do about a problematic workplace deploying such discriminatory or xenophobic threats against their worker’s rights?

If you or someone you know is a non-legal worker who suffered a severe workplace injury, and you’re facing unfair barriers to receiving the adequate benefits you deserve, you don’t have to face them alone. Read on to understand your rights, and to understand how an Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer can help you.

Worker’s Compensation For Non-Legal Workers: How It Works

If you’re a non-legal worker in California who was recently injured, you might feel uncertain and concerned about your rights, and understandably so. But to make a long answer short, under California law, yes, non-legal workers’ are just as entitled to claiming worker’s compensation benefits as documented workers are.

Even if your employer attempts to deceptively mislead you into thinking otherwise, the law ultimately has the final word that you are eligible for benefits. But how should you go about filing a worker’s compensation claim?

As soon as you’re able to do so after a workplace injury, you should request a worker’s compensation claim form from your employer, which should clearly outline the process of filing a claim. If your employer unfairly denies you this form, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer right away. We can help you file your claim or work with the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals’ Board to appeal this denial.

But even if you’re able to get a form and file your claim, there might be other barriers that you’re forced to deal with. Your employer could threaten you with immigration action if you file a claim, or the insurance company might deny your claim for discriminatory reasons. None of this is acceptable, and an experienced attorney can help you identify the best way to protect your rights.

Know Your Rights with A Worker’s Comp Attorney

If you or someone you know is an injured and non-legal California worker who’s struggling to receive the fair benefits you deserve, then you should consider working with an experienced, trusted, and competent California worker’s compensation attorney for your best fighting chance at a successful claim. Workers’ comp claims are difficult enough under any circumstances, but there can be unique challenges and concerns for non-legal residents, and a lawyer can help you.