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Roofer: Law Allowing Companies to Sidestep Benefits for Undocumented Workers Is Wrong

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 | 228 | 0 | 0 min read

A Florida roofer is encouraging state regulators to amend a law that allows insurance carriers to use a person's immigration status to deny workers' compensation coverage, WFSU-FM reports.

Adam Purdy

Adam Purdy

In 2003, Florida passed a law making it illegal to file a workers' compensation claim with a false Social Security number. Many undocumented workers have false Social Security numbers and find themselves charged with a felony after filing for workers' compensation benefits, even though it is technically legal for them to receive such benefits.

An NPR/ProPublica investigation published this summer described how professional employer organizations such as SouthEast Personnel Leasing hire undocumented workers but avoid paying them workers' compensation benefits due to maneuvering made possible by the 2003 law. 

“It was not until after these employees reported a workers' compensation claim that a PEO reports the employee as illegal and denies their coverage,” Adam Purdy, president of Edwards Roofing Co., told WFSU-FM. “This is shameful and should not be tolerated.”

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