You have a right to worker’s compensation if you are injured or become sick because of your job. Massachusetts law guarantees it. Your employer must insure you for job-related health problems.

You may have heard of a recent case of an employer violating this right and trying to use immigration authorities to avoid his responsibility to insure his employees. Because it apparently violates the law so blatantly, the case became a major controversy, with the Boston mayor and the U.S. Department of Labor taking the side of the injured worker.

Basically, everybody is covered here

According to Massachusetts law, if you work, you must be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation.

It makes no difference if you are an immigrant worker who is undocumented or without your “papers.” It also doesn’t matter if you’re paid “under the table” in cash.

It makes no difference if your family has been born in Massachusetts for hundreds of years or if you are a recent undocumented immigrant to the United States. You and your neighbors share the same right to be insured by your employer for job-related health problems.

If fact, it doesn’t matter if you work very few hours a week or even if you’re a volunteer and don’t get paid at all. You are covered.

Why workers’ compensation seems to be so generous

There are many reasons for this law. Almost anybody can file a lawsuit against anyone else who is so careless that it causes an injury. That’s why some employers insist on strong workers’ compensation laws. This way, all business must compete using the same rules and nobody gets an unfair advantage.

Also, employers pay for the insurance to cover workers. When they keep dangerous job conditions and workers are injured, insurance companies charge them more. So, most employers try to keep safe workplaces, which are then also safe for everybody, including workers who are U.S. citizens, government inspectors, contractors from other businesses and customers.

Massachusetts employers and the state’s people, laws, politicians and attorneys have a long history of protecting workers and fighting for their rights. If you feel you are not getting the workers’ compensation you are owed, contact a qualified attorney. You have rights here.