California has a large population of undocumented immigrants who — in spite of their lack of work visas — do have certain inalienable employment rights. If you or your loved one is an undocumented worker in the United States, here are two of
It doesn’t matter that you’re receiving pay “under-the-table”: As an undocumented worker, you would be wrong to assume that federal laws don’t allow you to receive overtime, rest breaks and other vital benefits like workers’ compensation protection. In fact, the only thing you have to be to benefit from these employment rights in the United States is to be a human being and an employee. Even if you’re receiving your pay under the table and you don’t have a paper record or receipts, you may still be able to pursue your unpaid wages and other unreceived benefits in court.
Your lack of documentation does not preclude you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits: All employees are vulnerable to suffering a life-altering and permanent injury on the job. However, many undocumented immigrants never report their injuries because they’re afraid of being reported or otherwise retaliated against by their employers. In other cases, employers attempt to take legal action to disqualify their undocumented workers from receiving workers’ compensation. If you’re facing a situation like this, seek legal representation immediately.
Powerful federal laws protect all workers in the United States. No matter who you are, no matter what your “immigration status” happens to be, and no matter how you suspect you have been wronged, protect yourself and learn about your state and federal employment rights now.