Some of the most important jobs that bolster our economy and continue our growth here in Massachusetts and across the country also happen to be the most dangerous. Construction workers, line workers, industrial engineers, miners, farmers, and a thousand different variants of manual laborers all put their bodies into harm’s way in order to perform their important duties and make money for them and their loved ones. Getting injured while on the job is an unavoidable part of working in a dangerous field. Despite being careful, and despite long lists of safety regulations that are required for employers to follow, accidents will happen. When they do, having mandatory workers’ compensation programs is what separates the United States from less-developed nations, where injured workers may simply be on their own financially.
Employers are required to offer workers’ compensation, and for good reason. If someone is unable to work and collect a paycheck due to an injury sustained at work, that place of employment should take responsibility and step up to help their employee. It’s not just a sign of good faith and morals, it’s the law.
Mucking the gears of workers’ compensation is wrong
A huge talking point during this year’s political circus has been the presence of undocumented immigrants that live and make their livings in the United States. Many of these immigrants work dangerous, laborious jobs such as picking fruit from high trees, roofing, construction, painting and so on. To make matters worse, since undocumented immigrants are unlikely to understand the United States’ labor laws – or are simply too afraid of being deported to speak out – they are often at a high risk of being taken advantage of by employers.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 827 foreign-born workers died in 2014 from work-related accidents; more than 15 a week. These workers came from 80 different countries, but a majority of them (40 percent) came from Mexico. A total of 789 Hispanic or Latino workers succumbed to work-related fatalities in 2014, and 503 of them were born outside of America.
Employers, knowing that they hold ultimate power over not just the paycheck of an undocumented worker but also their continued stay in the country, will utilize under-the-table payments and avoid written contracts to subvert labor laws. This attitude also extends, as the Boston Globe has reported, to doling out workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes, workers are simply kept waiting before the employer gets around to reporting their injury. Sometimes, the employers outright deny an injury happened and threaten termination if they press the issue further. In many cases, these workers are left with no recourse but to hire an attorney.
If you are denied workers’ compensation in Massachusetts, let us fight for you
Employers may want to make their workers believe that they have no recourse and that they should shut up or find a new job. But one thing is for certain: these employers are secretly hoping that nobody files suit against them. Especially if they are hiring undocumented workers and exploiting them. If you have been injured while working on the job and were denied workers’ compensation rights, received them after an unreasonable delay, or were threatened or ignored by your employer after requesting your legally-protected right to workers’ compensation, then you have legal recourse.
Altman & Altman LLP has over 40 years of experience litigating cases involving injuries, workplace negligence and manipulative employers. We understand that your life cannot stop simply because you are injured, and that you need money for medical expenses and time missed from work. We will not rest until you receive the compensation you are legally entitled to. Call us today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7 for a free consultation and we receive no payment unless you are successful in your claim.