I am working illegally.  Can I file for Workers’ Compensation?  Can I get fired?

I am working illegally. Can I file for Workers’ Compensation? Can I get fired?

Were you injured at work, but concerned because you are an undocumented worker? There must be so many questions and concerns going through your mind, and we are fully equipped to handle your concerns and our staff all fully bilingual.

*Can I file for Workers’ Compensation? – Yes. Being an undocumented worker does not prohibit you from filing a Workers’ Compensation claim and receiving workers’ compensation benefits should your claim be accepted. The same laws apply to you as if you were not undocumented!

*Can I get fired? – Though it is not legal for your employer to terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, NC is an employment at will state and you may be fired for any reason or without “cause.” Thus, your employer may terminate you for being undocumented though you may still have a valid workplace injury claim. If your employer was aware of your immigration status, as many employers are, they may be deterred from terminating you since they too are responsible for confirming you are lawfully able to work prior to employing you.

*Do my rights differ from a documented worker as it pertains to having a work injury? - No. Documented workers and undocumented workers have the same legal rights in North Carolina with regard to on-the-job injuries. Your claim cannot be denied legally on the grounds that you are simply undocumented.

*What should I do now? – The very first thing you should do is consult an attorney. All work injuries are different, and though you have the same rights as documented workers, that does not mean there will not be tricky aspects to your claim. Further, employers and insurance companies at times may sadly attempt to take advantage of an undocumented worker. We have even seen employers threaten our clients regarding deportation! Let us protect you in this situation. You have legal rights in a valid workers’ compensation claim!!

When you are undocumented and involved in a Workers’ Compensation claim, make sure you know your rights! We would encourage you to contact us to schedule a free consultation with Attorney/Owner, Maggie Shankle to ensure you are not intimidated or taken advantage of given your immigration status. At Shankle Law Firm, we can help educate you on your rights, as well as other components surrounding your injury and treatment.

Call Maggie