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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Are Undocumented Construction Workers Entitled to Compensation When Injured at Work?


Construction sites can be hazardous places, and accidents are not uncommon. When an undocumented construction worker is injured at work, they may wonder if they may think that they are not entitled to compensation due to their legal status.

Undocumented workers make up a significant portion of the construction workforce in New York, and their safety is often overlooked. At Leitner Varughese PLLC, our New York construction accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured construction workers pursue the compensation to which they are entitled, regardless of their legal status.

The Risks Faced by Undocumented Construction Workers

Data from the Census Bureau shows that foreign-born individuals account for nearly a third of the construction workforce in the United States. Many of those workers are undocumented immigrants.

Undocumented construction workers often receive little to no safety training and are frequently required to perform dangerous tasks without adequate safety equipment. They are also less likely to report safety concerns or accidents due to fear of retaliation or deportation. In addition, many undocumented workers are hired as day laborers, making it difficult for them to secure workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job.

Rights of Undocumented Construction Workers in New York

Despite their legal status, undocumented construction workers in New York are still protected under state law. They have the right to a safe workplace, regardless of their immigration status. Employers are required to provide safety training and equipment and must report workplace accidents to the appropriate authorities.

Workers’ compensation benefits are also available to undocumented workers who are injured on the job, and employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who report safety concerns or file a claim.

In New York, undocumented workers are often hired to work on construction sites because they are considered cheaper labor. However, this often means that they are not given adequate training or safety equipment. Additionally, some employers may intentionally avoid providing workers’ compensation coverage, which can leave injured workers with no means of support.

Compensation Options for Injured Undocumented Construction Workers

Undocumented workers who are injured on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of their legal status. These benefits can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to the injury. In addition, injured workers may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against their employer or a third party responsible for the accident. It is essential to contact an experienced attorney who can help navigate the often complex legal process and ensure that the injured worker receives the compensation they deserve.

Seek Legal Assistance

Construction accidents can have devastating consequences, particularly for undocumented workers who are already vulnerable. However, undocumented workers in New York have legal protections and options for compensation if they are injured on the job. If you are an undocumented worker who has been injured in a construction accident, it is essential to know your rights and seek legal assistance. Our lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC help you navigate the complicated legal system and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call 212-671-1110 to set up a free case review.


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