California is seen by many as a land of opportunity. This brings many workers here to do jobs that might not be available to them where they come from -- in many cases, other countries. However, many of these workers may pay a high price for their opportunities.
Several recent cases around the country have shown how many migrant or temporary workers have not received the same kinds of treatment that other employees receive. This has led on more than one occasion to serious workplace accidents that, if not preventable, might have been less serious had these workers received adequate training and support from their employers.
In one particularly egregious case, a man from Mexico was working at a plant in Illinois. After an explosion, he suffered severe burns on 80 percent of his body. However, he had no safety equipment on at the time and had received no training. His employers didn't decide to get him medical attention for more than half an hour after the accident. The man ended up dying from his injuries.
In another case at a company where workers were trying to organize into a union and workers reported the company was retaliating against them, the company alleged visa fraud on the part of one of the workers -- who was ultimately deported without regard to the legitimacy of the retaliation complaints.
While some workers might be more vulnerable to workplace accidents than others, any employee who is hurt at work should be aware of their rights. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help advise someone who has been hurt on the job.
Source: The Raw Story, "Temporary and migrant workers face 'systemic' problem of workplace dangers," David Ferguson, March 28, 2013