COLUMBUS—The ACLU of Ohio is urging legislators to reject the harmful and unnecessary provisions regarding undocumented workers in Substitute House Bill 27.
This provision would prohibit undocumented workers from receiving workers' compensation benefits; in addition, it would prevent undocumented workers from suing their employers for injuries and diseases in almost all situations. The ACLU of Ohio will provide testimony at the Senate Insurance & Financial Institutions Committee Tuesday morning.
“This bill essentially gives license to corrupt businesses to hire undocumented workers and assign them to work the most harmful jobs or in the most dangerous environments,” said Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio. “Many undocumented workers are desperate to help their families, and will continue to work where and when they can find it. These built in provisions will cause great harm to an already vulnerable population,” added Daniels.
HB 27 stipulates that undocumented workers who suffer injury as a result of the job cannot file a lawsuit against an employer without “clear and convincing” evidence that they were unlawfully hired. “Unscrupulous employers are well aware these workers do not have the resources to file lawsuits or hunt down the evidence of mistreatment and abuse this bill requires,” said Daniels.
“Frustration over Congress’ inability to update immigration laws should not result in what might be the nation’s most oppressive law allowing businesses to potentially exploit these individuals in ways that may lead to injury or death,” concluded Daniels.