It’s been two weeks since Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States but in that short time, he’s made it clear that he is more than willing to move forward with executive orders that are both anti-immigrant and unconstitutional. Many people have been left wondering how his administration’s viewpoint on immigration may impact their rights – especially the rights they have after being injured on the job.
New York State Attorney General Fights Growing Chaos
Thankfully, many government officials have stood up and condemned Trump’s actions, including Eric Schneiderman, the New York State Attorney General. In a joint statement regarding the order 1to block the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, he and fourteen other attorney generals said, “Multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration’s dangerous executive order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.”
This statement came after hundreds of people were held in airports throughout the country, even though they had the appropriate paperwork. Even green card holders were impacted. In several instances, the passengers were put back on a plane and forced to leave the country. One disturbing picture even showed a five-year-old boy in handcuffs.
Governor Cuomo also noted that he disapproved of the order, saying, “I never thought I’d see the day when refugees, who have fled war-torn countries in search of a better life, would be turned away at our doorstep.” He then indicated that he has ordered the Port Authority and Department of State to explore all legal options available to assist anyone who has been affected.
Workers’ Compensation Safe – For Now
If you are an immigrant it’s good to be aware of New York State Workers’ Compensation Law, Section 17, which specifically covers the right of “aliens” after an on the job injury.
An alien is defined as any person that is in a country who is not a national of that country. Aliens can be both documented and undocumented.
Whatever a person’s status is, they have the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits if they were injured on the job because the law regarding workers’ comp is “status” blind. The only question that really needs to be answered is whether or not they were working at the time of their injury.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Serious injuries can keep a person from being able to return to work either temporarily or permanently, result in life-long scarring and pain, and are frequently very expensive to treat – even if the worker has health insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance was designed to help injured employees from suffering financially as well as physically. Policies are supposed to provide full payment for all medical treatments that directly relate to the work-related injury or illness and if the worker is unable to return to their job for an extended period of time, a portion of their lost wages. Again, this coverage should be provided even if they are an undocumented worker.
Shockingly, a huge number of legitimate claims are denied by insurance companies every day. Denials are given for various reasons such as a mistake made on a claim form or an employer contesting a claim.
Why Would An Employer Contest A Claim?
This question has a very simple answer: money. The more claims that are made with an insurance company, the higher the cost of the policy for the employer. In many cases, the employer claims that the employee was not acting within the scope of their job at the time of the injury.
How Can I Prove My Claim Is Valid?
The first thing every injured worker in New York should do after an accident is contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. This is beneficial for many reasons. An attorney can work to find and preserve the evidence that is needed to prove the claim is valid and help their client fill out all of the necessary paperwork.
Our firm has been helping both documented and undocumented workers for decades. We completely understand how stressful both the current political environment and a serious injury can be and are more than happy to answer all of your questions.