July 24, 2018 by Michael B. Stack
Interested stakeholders in workers’ compensation need to pay attention to the changing workforce as immigration continues to change the composition of the American workforce. This includes being mindful of immigration laws and making good faith efforts to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act and the employment of individuals authorized to work within the United States. Notwithstanding these efforts, people without such proper documentation enter the workforce and become injured. This creates problems for employers and insurers that can add costs to a claim.
Understanding the Basics
The Immigration Reform and Control Act controls employment practices in the United States. Under this law, only American citizens or non-citizens with the proper work permits are allowed to perform work legally. However, employers continue to employ people without proper authorization – in some instances knowingly engaging in this type of employment practice.
A state’s workers’ compensation law defines eligibility for benefits. In many instances, one’s legal employment status does not serve as a bar to benefits after following a work injury. The issue of hiring someone not legally allowed to work in the United States is not going away. The only true way to deal with such issues is to make good faith efforts when verifying someone’s work status. The reality is even if an employer undertakes these efforts, people not legally allowed to work will continue to seek employment.