Saturday, April 11, 2009

If an employer hire someone that is illegal,
should that be grounds for holding an employer harmless if the employee gets hurt?

TC Palm --

Victor Leon, 26, who came to United States seven years ago was paralyzed three years ago when he fell from a three-story building in Palm city and is suing Jupiter-based Altec Roofing for Worker's Compensation benefits to help pay his $500,000 medical bill.

Victor and his brother Ivan are both illegal aliens which places Victor in a legal debate over what rights if any do illegal workers have that they are injured on the job.
"It's sort of a legal limbo," said Chad Hastings, Leon's attorney. "He's in a place where basically the American government is saying, 'Go die somewhere.' "

a civil court judge ruled Altec did not owe Leon anything for negligence, citing a precedent case that gives an employer legal immunity when they provide workers compensation, however, Leon was denied workers compensation due to his illegal status.
Companies shouldn't be hiring illegal immigrants in the first place, said former state Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Port St. Lucie. But even if the employer knew the worker was illegal, Harrell said that doesn't entitle an injured worker — already breaking the law — to benefits."
"I don't think we should give any rights to illegals to start with," said Harrell, who made stopping illegal immigration her top issue when she campaigned for U.S. House District 16. "You've got all these contractors out of work. We should be hiring legal workers, not illegal ones. These contractors could avoid all these sticky lawsuits."

Since the accident, Leon has been unable to work and relies on whatever help the people in Indian town may have to offer.
"He wasn't the only one working illegally," said Yolanda Whitehead, 30, who helped Leon make calls to social service agencies. "Somebody needs to give him somewhere to stay and feed him ... and some treatment because he needs help."

"illegal people can't have no rights, man, and I don't know why," Leon said. "I mean, were just humans."

I think it's an interesting question myself...
if an employer is breaking the law by hiring an illegal alien, and chances are they're not paying Worker's Compensation on that worker, and that worker gets injured, does the employer get off scot free?

I don't think so!

In fact, not only should the employer be responsible for the worker's injuries, that employer should also face the legal consequences in hiring the illegal alien in the first place.


Blogger OregonGuy said...

And, fer instances, if I am engaged in the underground ecomy--and hence pay no taxes--don't I qualify for government support?

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