One in four of New Jersey’s worker is an immigrant. That’s 1.4 million workers comprising a total o 29% of the labor force.
That’s plenty of people who are at risk for getting hurt on the job!
Many of these immigrants are also undocumented, even as they contribute to the local economy.
Fortunately, all New Jersey workers are eligible to receive workers compensation benefits. Immigration status does not matter and should not be a bar to recovery.
Will I be deported if I claim workers compensation benefits?
Some employers do threaten workers with deportation if they try to claim their benefits.
While it might not hurt to talk to an immigration lawyer as well as a workers compensation lawyer, the truth is employers may not retaliate against employees for claiming workers compensation.
If an employer tries to threaten you, you should tell your workers compensation lawyer right away.
I only work for one employer, but now they’re claiming I’m an independent contractor.
Employers do this a lot, especially to immigrants. If your employer is doing it to you, tell our office right away.
There are specific tests that New Jersey courts use to determine if a worker is an employee or a contractor.
Under New Jersey Law, if you perform a service and are paid, you are presumed to be an employee. If an employer wishes to prove otherwise, they must prove the following:
- You have been and will continue to be free from control or direction over performance of the service, both under a contractor service and in fact; and
- The service is either outside the usual course of the business for which such service is performed, or the service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprise for which such service is performed; and
- You are customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business.
You don’t have to prove you are an employee. The burden of proof lies with the employer. This is a lie that employers often tell immigrants in particular in the hopes of depriving them of benefits by misleading individuals into handling medical bills themselves, rather than filing or getting help.
In addition, New Jersey may classify you as an employee even if your employer made you sign an independent contractor agreement.
When does an immigrant need a workers compensation lawyer?
We recommend reaching out if you get any pushback over filing your claim. It will give you peace of mind and it will let employers know they can’t just push you around. Some employers and some insurance companies will do anything to avoid paying claims, including lying to the employees or implying that life will get worse for them if they step up to claim what they are due by right.
By working with a lawyer you tell your employer and those insurance companies that you mean business.
Reach out to Talone Law to get help today.