Nov. 15, 2013
Iowa Supreme Court Rules that Undocumented Workers Can Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an opinion in Staff Management v. Jimenez that under Iowa's workers' compensation laws, undocumented workers are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The Court joins the majority of state courts who have reached this issue. The National Employment Law Project authored an amicus brief [link to amicus] in this case.
In its decision, the Court held that the enforcement of an employment contract does not undermine the policy purposes of the IRCA. Moreover, an employment contract with an undocumented worker does not inherently have an illegal purpose, and it is void as illegal merely because the contract is with an undocumented worker. Moreover, the Court ruled that the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) does not preempt Iowa workers’ compensation law.Read More >
Jun. 20, 2013
Affirming the Right for All to Workers’ Compensation: The Fight of Immigrant Workers
NELP's Rebecca Smithon the availablility of workers' compensation protections for immigrant workers:
Jesus Gonzalez came to the U.S. in 2003 from Mexico. He worked for a painting company in New Mexico. In August of 2006, he fell off a ladder and, as a result, had to go through multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.
In April, 2008, Mr. Gonzalez’ employer called him back to work at a lighter-duty job. There was one catch: Mr. Gonzalez would be required to fill out a new employment application which would explicitly include verification of his eligibility for employment. Mr. Gonzalez could not do so, and was rejected for employment by a company which, not so incidentally, had never properly complied with federal law regarding verification of Mr. Gonzalez’ eligibility to work in the United States.
Two weeks ago, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed an award of partial disability benefits to Mr. Gonzalez, finding that undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under New Mexico law, and that the company’s return to work offer was illusory.
For the rest of the article, visit the Workers' Comp Hub.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Workers’ Compensation
Nov. 2, 2012
New Report Details Abusive Working Conditions in Meatpacking and Poultry Plants
A new report authored by the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Program details dangerous conditions persist for food and worker safety in meat and poultry processing plants. The report summarizes in-depth interviews with meat and poultry workers in 6 focus groups in 5 sites across 2 states, Iowa and Minnesota.
“Always Working Beyond the Capacity of Our Bodies: Meat and Poultry Processing Work Conditions and Human Rights in the Midwest” is a report based on in-depth focus group interviews with workers in rural Minnesota and Iowa communities. It documents a number of significant concerns about safety and other work conditions in meatpacking and poultry plants. Most notably, workers linked serious injuries to the rapid speed of the production line. Workers also described being exposed on a regular basis to dangerous chemicals on the factory floor. Finally workers reported facing discrimination and abuse from supervisors. The report also describes the unique abuses faced by immigrant workers.Read More >
Oct. 1, 2012
Immigrant Worker News Updates, October 1, 2012
Governor Vetoes CA Domestic Worker Bill of Rights [SF Chronicle]
CA Governor Also Vetoes CA TRUST Act—“Arizonification” of the State [NY Times]
Undocumented Status Doesn’t Foil Worker’s Claim for Fall from Work [Risk and Insurance]
Deportation Deferrals Put Employers of Immigrants in Bind [NY Times]
Hispanic Workers in North Carolina Hit by Wage Theft Epidemic [Hispanically Speaking]Read More >