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Ohio House passes bill barring comp for undocumented workers

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The Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation that would prohibit undocumented workers from collecting workers compensation benefits.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, and Larry Householder, R-Glenford, passed on a largely party line 62-30 vote and will now head to the state’s Senate.

The bill states, “an illegal alien or unauthorized alien assumes the risk of incurring such injury or contracting an occupational disease, and that assumption is a complete bar to a recovery of damages for such injury or occupational disease.”

Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton, said in a statement that the bill would reward businesses that hire undocumented workers.

“Corporations that break the law and hire undocumented workers should have to take responsibility for workplace injuries — regardless of an employee’s immigration status,” Rep. Strahorn said in a statement. “Under HB 380, employers who rig the system will get off scot-free and taxpayers will be left with the bill.”

A similar bill failed to pass the Republican-controlled Senate earlier this year.