Undocumented workers are an invisible work force that can benefit from the counsel of a Charlotte worker’s compensation attorney. There are somewhere between 12 to 20 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Of that number, an astounding 8 million are estimated to be working for U.S. employers, doing everything from gardening to working in a mine. Most of these undocumented workers are so desperate for a better life that they will work in almost any environment, doing any job, regardless how perilous or how detrimental to their health. In addition to all this, they will work long hours for very little pay.
According to OSHA statistics, nearly 40% of meat packing employees are injured on the job annually. Some individual plants have experienced injury rates as high as 60%. A significant number of these injuries were trauma injuries. By its nature, the tasks that require the use of sharp knives and hand tools combined with slippery floors where workers lift and move heavy carcasses; make the meatpacking plants extremely dangerous work environment. Undocumented workers are hired to keep wages low, hours long, and workplace injuries off the record. When an undocumented worker is injured and given a return to light duty work, the carrier can deny the lost wage benefit because the injured worker does not have a valid social security number.
Workers’ compensation attorneys will tell you that the resident status of an injured worker will not necessarily prohibit an injured worker’s chance of receiving workers compensation benefits. Undocumented workers are keenly worried about the risk of deportation if they report an injury; and this is the main reason that certain employers hire them. This really works in the employer’s favor when the primary injury is the result of repetitive trauma. In such cases the outward signs of the injury are hidden. These workers will simply continue to work through the pain. For those workers with the courage to come forward, they are buoyed by the fact that the employer will be subject to fines and penalties for hiring undocumented workers in the first place. Therefore they have no desire for the worker to be discovered. When an undocumented worker hires a lawyer, that lawyer is bound by client/attorney confidentiality, and will not disclose the worker’s immigration status. Therefore, the injured worker should not be afraid to consult with a lawyer in the very least.
Worker’s compensation lawyer in Charlotte, NC
Undocumented workers should be aware that the law provides them protection should they get injured at work. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, and if you are looking for worker’s comp attorneys who have years of experience; consider The Olive Law Firm in Charlotte, NC. Call their offices for a complimentary consultation in English or Spanish. It does not matter what kind of work related injury you have, you deserve to know your options. The Olive Law Firm has been helping Carolinians understand their rights and seek justice since 1957. Call them today to schedule a free consultation with a worker’s compensation attorney.