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Undocumented Workers Face Special Challenges

The New York City personal injury trial lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have made their careers out of fighting for working people. Often that involves representing a injured union construction worker. It also involves representing immigrant workers. Representing immigrant workers frequently presents some of the more daunting challenges. The attached article below details some of the perils that an immigrant worker faces on a daily basis. Read on if you want to learn about our vantage point when it comes to helping injured immigrant workers. Still unsure whether this matters to you, then take a look at how this attached piece begins:

A group of immigrants allege their boss wielded their status as a weapon when they stood up to extreme abuses: from hanging from the top of a four-story building without scaffolding, to removing asbestos without gloves.

Immigration is an issue at the forefront of local and national politics. Viewing immigration through the prism of an immigrant worker is particularly enlightening. This piece highlights how they are exploited by all-too -comfortable contractors and developers who use their status as immigrants like they are wielding a weapon, constantly reminding them of their tenuous status so this threat hovers above them like a dark cloud. The threat impacts every decision they make and if they dare complain about an unfair work condition or an unsafe practice, they know they will be out of a job in a second. Moreover, they fear that they will be reported and forever impact their families' hopes and dreams.

Workers detail how they were dangerously exposed to asbestos without regard for their lives; they weren't even provided gloves. Their impression was "if I don't do this they will fire me . . . they say they will find someone else," according to the below report in Salon. Think about that for a second, let it marinate. They are faced with a decision, do something that is potentially fatal or lose my job and ability to feed my family. Another worker that was doing brick pointing on a high-rise building was not provided a scaffold to perform the work. Rather, he was recklessly required to hang upside down while fellow employees "secured his safety" by holding on to his legs from above. The terrified worker was quoted saying "If I don't do this, he'll fire me." Confront death or lose your job. Nobody should face life or death decisions when they go to work simply because they come from another land or are less educated. It is a matter of fundamental human decency.

This isn't happening in a 3rd world country; it's happening in the metropolitan area. New Jersey Senator Robert Melendez has taken the position that these stories illustrate the importance of immigration reform and he is forcefully advocating for reform while building a coalition of allies. We agree and also strongly argue that it demonstrates the perils of government softening on worker safety. The people most likely to suffer when worker safety laws are relaxed are the most vulnerable workers, minorities and immigrants.

Block O'Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is committed to fighting on behalf of injured workers. The work injury lawyers have a track record of battling for the underdog, including more than $700,000,000 in verdicts and settlements. To learn more about these committed and experienced lawyers, please see the firm website www.blockotoole.com. For a free consultation, you may call 212.736.5300.

Source: Salon

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