Most people who immigrate to the United States do so because they want a better future for themselves and their families. Immigrants, regardless of their documentation status, typically work hard in order to secure their own American Dream.
Unfortunately, there are some companies that would happily take advantage of immigrant workers. Unscrupulous behavior on the part of private businesses is one reason why immigrants, especially young Latino men, are at increased risk for dying or suffering a severe injury on the job.
Some companies have ulterior motives for hiring immigrants
The stereotype of the hard-working immigrant is just one reason why a company might want to hire first-generation immigrants, even those who are undocumented, to perform difficult and demanding jobs. Immigrants often accept low wages for physically demanding and dangerous jobs in fields like construction and agriculture.
Hard work isn’t the only reason companies seek out immigrant staff. They may also want to get away with inadequate employee support. Not providing necessary safety equipment, not offering training and demanding employment behaviors contrary to safety regulations are all actions that employers may think they can get away with more easily with immigrant staff members.
All that rule-breaking and refusal to provide safety training and equipment could easily be a major contributing factor to risk on the job. Additionally, it could be a warning sign that your employer will illegally retaliate against you for reporting an injury or trying to seek workers’ compensation.
It’s important for immigrant and Latino workers to understand that their immigration status has no bearing on their right to workers’ compensation benefits and workplace protections. Getting help after getting hurt on the job makes it easier for you to stand up for yourself in this difficult situation.