The Pros and Cons of Hiring Undocumented Workers in the Construction Industry

Summary: There are certain benefits to hiring any individual. However, with that also comes potential penalties if the process is not done correctly.

The construction industry is one of the largest employers for unauthorized United States citizens. However, undocumented or not, workers’ compensation is a requirement that all employers must adhere to. In some states, it has been emphasized that undocumented residents are not to be excluded.

The Legal Issues

If an employee is seriously injured to the point where a workers’ compensation claim is filed and the employer has initiated benefit payments, it can become a complicated issue for the company itself. In the process, it may reveal to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that an unauthorized worker is illegally working. If the employee’s eligibility can be documented through Form I-9, there may not be an issue. However, failing to adhere to the law can result in a multitude of penalties and fees. It may be wise to consult with one of the many construction turnaround services if you have questions.

In some states, construction employers are wary of employing unauthorized workers. Ultimately, they are responsible for every employee on the job. In turn, the owner must perform his or her due diligence when tackling the hiring process.

Potential Repercussions with Third Parties

While general contractors tend to be more reserved when hiring undocumented workers, their subcontractors and third tier team may have an issue with it. However, this does not divert the blame elsewhere as the general contractor is still the point man on duty. You can also hire a construction expert such as Lyle Charles of Lyle Charles Consulting to sort out any issues that may arise during the construction process.

Whether employees are legal or not and are under the general contractor’s payroll, there is a case to be made that each individual should be working under the general contractor. Employers should always be aware of the legalities and potential penalties when hiring unauthorized workers.