Debate over illegal workers covered for “while at work” injuries

Insurance for Injuries at the Work PlaceIllegal immigrants have once again moved to the forefront of public debate. Now, the various law makers, and state governing boards, are trying to come to a “middle of the road” agreement. What prompted all of this? It seems that a few states have taken a stand against compensating illegal immigrants who are injured at their job.

Which prompts another question; how did these illegal immigrants get jobs? The best-guess numbers say that five percent of the U.S. workforce is (illegal) immigrants.  The estimate is there are around eight million undocumented workers here; despite the government backed, “E-Verify” system. This system compares information found in databases to the applicant’s information to determine if they are legal to work.

At this time, Wyoming is the only state that has a law against illegal immigrants receiving worker compensation. Five other states, including Georgia, Ohio and Montana, are trying to decide whether or not to pass similar laws. Eleven states haven’t commented on where they stand on the issue; all the rest includes undocumented workers in laws pertaining to worker compensation.

A report stated that out of 2,600 workers (mostly illegal’s) surveyed, at least one out of five said they had been hurt at work, but didn’t receive medical care. The employer’s argued that they shouldn’t receive benefits, because they are here illegally.

Safety programs are not helping much; inspectors are only able to check out one percent of the more than 7 million business. Many times the employer will send the injured employee to the company doctor, or plant nurse; who gives them minor treatment and sends them back to work. Some employers even threaten and intimidate the injured worker, making them too afraid to seek medical attention.

All of these things are happening across the United States, and the only way there will be a clear outline of procedure is for the states to decide how the issue should be handled, and put it into law.

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