Illegal Aliens

Discussion if illegal aliens (undocumented workers) are entitled to workers compensation benefits and summary of IRCA.

The Indiana WC statute does not specifically address illegal aliens (undocumented workers). The statute defines an employee as follows:”Employee means every person, including a minor, in the service of another, under any contract of hire or apprenticeship, written or implied, except one whose employment is both casual and not in the usual course of the trade, business, occupation, or profession of the employer.” Reference IC 22-3-6-1 (b)In cases before the WC Board, although each case is considered separately, in general the Board has granted medical and impairment benefits, but not wages.​

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)

Highlights of the Act:

  • unlawful for a person or other entity “to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien.” 8 U.S.C. 1324a(a)
  • unlawful for a person or entity “after hiring an alien for employment . . . to continue to employ the alien in the United States knowing the alien is (or has become) an unauthorized alien with respect to such employment.” 8 U.S.C. 1324a(a)
  • requires employers to verify that their employees are authorized to work in the United States by examining certain types of documentation (e.g., drivers’ license) and having the employees execute an employment eligibility verification (I-9) form. 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b).
  • unlawful for an unauthorized alien to tender “any forged, counterfeit, altered, or falsely made document” or “any document lawfully issued to or with respect to a person other than the possessor” to the employer during this verification process. 8 U.S.C. 1324c(a)(1)-(3)