Recent legislation was introduced that would’ve made it impossible for undocumented immigrant workers to gain coverage from the Ohio bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). This proposal was rejected, which is a great win for worker rights. Proponents of the bill suggested that it is a crackdown on immigrants who are here illegally, while opponents say that bad employers will get away with providing unsafe working conditions for workers and save money by refusing injury coverage and benefits to immigrants.
Recent efforts by the government contradict this rejection, as the president invests more resources into deporting immigrants and limiting the amount of visa workers allowed in the United States. This is affecting many industries, including farming and construction where undocumented immigrant workers account for a large portion of the workforce. Many farmers are speaking up about the increased difficulty of finding immigrant workers, which could cause slower economic output and higher prices for goods from farms. In a recent Bloomberg article, a manager at Kansas farm Royal Farms Dairy states that he ran advertisements for American entry-level farm workers, offering starting pay of $40,000 in high-unemployment counties, with no success. Documented Americans do not seem interested in doing farming work, which could have devastating financial impacts on the industry.
This issue is still ongoing, and Senate is supposed to vote on the legislation this week. Another issue brought to attention is that the BWC does not collect Social Security numbers, and does not have the resources to investigate who is a citizen and who is not.
Columbus workers’ comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC are dedicated to fight for injury coverage for workers who get their claims rejected or are not provided enough from the BWC.