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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Iowa justices: Illegal immigrant entitled to workers' comp

Today's post is shared from .

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that a West Liberty woman, an immigrant from Mexico who stayed in the United States after her visa had expired, is entitled to receive workers compensation benefits for a work-related injury.
The case involves Pascuala Jiminez, who came to the United States in 1991 and had a visa for 10 years. She remained after it expired and continued to work. She had lived in West Liberty for 19 years.
Jiminez worked for the Chicago-based temporary employment agency Staff Management and was assigned to the Proctor & Gamble plant in Iowa City where she packaged shampoo and prepared boxes and pallets for shipping.
In September 2007 she was lifting a pallet and became injured with what doctors later identified as two abdominal hernias. She returned to work and was limited in her ability to lift until she had surgery in November 2007. She returned to work again in December. In mid-January 2008, she was fired. Managers told her it was because she did not have legal authorization to work in the U.S.
She sought and won benefits from the Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner in October 2010. Staff Management appealed to Polk County District Court, which upheld the commissioners decision. The company further appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.
The company argued that a worker living in the country without legal permission should not receive workers compensation benefits because Iowa does not include undocumented workers in its definition of an employee under...
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