How Can Co-ops Help Undocumented Workers?

A non-U.S. citizen can be undocumented for many reasons, including overstaying a student or tourist visa or entering the country without inspection. Undocumented people are not authorized to be employed in the United States. However being undocumented does not preclude a person from minimum wage and overtime pay rights or in some states workers’ compensation benefits.

What Can Undocumented Folks Do?

Under some circumstances, the simultaneous ownership and management of a business (including a worker cooperative) by an undocumented immigrant is not a violation of law. This conclusion is supported by significant legal authority, although only one court has addressed the question. Harvard Law School’s Community Enterprise Project has written a detailed overview of this issue. You can find that overview at this link. It is critical that you read the full overview for more information. You should consult a lawyer before taking any action in reliance upon the Harvard overview or any other publication.

Read the full article at Cooperative Development Institute


Go to the GEO front page