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Illegal Worker Ineligible for Comp Rehab, Court Finds

July 1, 2008
Related Topics: Medical Benefits Law, Benefit Design and Communication, Future Workplace, Latest News
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An undocumented worker is not entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits, New York’s highest court ruled Thursday, June 26, in the case of a printer who suffered four crushed fingers in a 1995 accident.

After his injury, Ronnie Ramroop received temporary disability benefits until 2000, court records in the case of Ronnie Ramroop v. Flexo-Craft Printing Inc. show. Two years later, he applied for additional benefits for impairment of wage-earning capacity, which required he participate in a rehabilitation program.

But the New York State Education Department’s Office for Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals With Disabilities said Ramroop was ineligible for rehabilitation services because an undocumented alien cannot be legally employed in the United States.

Following a series of appeals, the New York state Court of Appeals ruled against Ramroop and upheld a lower court finding. The high court ruled that it could not have been lawmakers’ intent to restore previous capabilities to a worker who is not authorized to work.

Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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