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Undocumented Worker Entitled to Workers’ Compensation

According to a court ruling, an undocumented Mexican worker who gave his employer false identification is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries he sustained on the job. Mario Arellano, who gave a fake Social Security card, along with a driver’s license, to L & L Enterprises, hurt his back while riding in the back of a work truck.

Arellano’s injuries included a lumbar sprain and acute back pain. Arellano filed a workers’ compensation claim but the state of Wyoming denied it, contending that he did not give medical documentation to back his claim and failed to prove he was allowed to work in the United States.

An examiner from the state’s administrative hearing office said that although Arellano proved his back injury was because of his job, he did not succeed in demonstrating that he was covered under workers’ compensation law. The examiner denied Arellano the benefits and he appealed. A district court reversed the examiner’s ruling.

Arellano’s employer then appealed. However, a Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court. It found that state law only mandates that an employer “reasonably” determine the work status of an employee using the documentation presented during hiring and available up through to the injury incident. The court pointed out that this way of interpreting the law protects employers who then don’t have to worry about being sued.

Undocumented workers who are injured on the job are entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our Boston work injury law firm today.

Injured undocumented worker entitled to comp, Business Insurance, February 19, 2015

Worker’s Compensation, Mass.gov

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