Immigrant Rights Legislation

SB 176 – Prohibit Workers’ Compensation for Undocumented Immigrants (2013-2014)

Link to Bill:

SB 176 prevents undocumented immigrants from receiving Ohio worker’s compensation benefits or damages for workplace-related illness or injury. Undocumented immigrants may bring a civil claim in court for their injuries if they can prove that their employer was aware of their undocumented status. This bill also eliminates undocumented workers from the definition of “employee” in Ohio’s Revised Code.

Primary Sponsors:
Secondary Sponsors:
Commerce and Labor (S)
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Our take on this bill:

SB 176 fails to protect individuals who have been injured on the job, even when the employer’s actions resulted in the injury, and, as a consequence, these individuals cannot earn a living or return to work in the U.S. or any other nation. Additionally, this bill could potentially lead to greater employment of undocumented workers and decreased workplace safety. SB 176 creates these issues because employers would not have to pay claims under workers’ compensation and they would essentially be immune from lawsuits unless the employee is able to meet a very high legal bar of proving the employer knew of their undocumented status. The state, as an employer, should set an example, and ensure that it protects all of its workers’ regardless if they are documented or undocumented.