It may seem fairly simple for business owners to take advantage of undocumented workers and allow them to work in unsafe work environments. Some managers believe their employees are too afraid to pursue a lawsuit after an injury because of their immigration status. Here is what you should know about filing lawsuits as an undocumented worker.
Can you sue your employer if you are an illegal immigrant?
Immigration laws are always changing, so discussing your immigration status with your attorney before proceeding is wise. Generally speaking, most workers, even undocumented immigrants, have the right to file a personal injury suit against employers. This is because employers must maintain the same standards with unauthorized workers as authorized workers. This includes providing safe working conditions for all employees in addition to paying at least minimum wage.
Can your lawsuit cause your deportation at a later date?
In most cases, your immigration status does not come into question after filing a lawsuit. This is because the Department of Labor and Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates independently and DOL tries to keep immigration issues separate. You could still face deportation if ICE determines that your presence in the country is a threat to national security or you have committed a federal crime.
Though undocumented staff may feel apprehensive about filing lawsuits against their employers for workplace injuries, in most instances the lawsuit does not impact the plaintiff’s ability to remain in the country. Consider seeking restitution if your ability to earn a living diminished after an injury on the job.