Getting a Recovery for Lost Wages for an Illegal Alien

The use of illegal or undocumented immigrants is widespread, especially in the construction industry.        

Can an undocumented alien collect lost wages in an accident lawsuit?

The answer is yes. 

New York’s highest court ruled in Balbuena v. IDR Realty, LLC, 6 NY3d 338, 812 NYS2d 416 (2006) that a undocumented worker can recover for both past and future lost wages even though the worker is not legally authorized to work in the United States.  The court ruled that New York’s Labor Law applies to all workers across the board.

The court also reasoned that if a lost wage were precluded, then a negligent employer would be rewarded for an unsafe workplace.  Furthermore, an employer would lack the incentive to provide a safe workplace as mandated by the Labor Law.  Last, precluding wage recovery would reward employers who disregarded the employment verification system.

This decision is not limited to the construction industry.  It includes all undocumented aliens in other occupations, such as the restaurant and food industries.

If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, please feel free to call us for a free consultation at 899-581-1434 or write to

Mark E. Seitelman, 7/26/11,


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