Are Part-Time and Seasonal Employees Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
What Part-Time and Seasonal Employees Should Know
Each year, companies prepare for the higher volume the hectic holiday season brings by hiring seasonal employees and part-time employees. In 2018, it was projected that retailers would hire a whopping 700,000+ employees, a record high since 2015. If you have been hired as a seasonal employee this year, there are a few crucial employment details you should be aware of.
It’s important to know if you’re a seasonal employee, you are still covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance. In fact, seasonal employees and part-time employees are treated the same as full-time employees when it comes to a workplace injury. This means that if you are injured while at work, your company must adhere to your state’s workers’ insurance laws and offer you coverage for any injuries obtained during your employment.
Seasonal Employee Workers’ Compensation Laws
In most states across the U.S., including Pennsylvania, New York, and California, it is required that employers with at least one employee obtain workers’ compensation insurance. The law differs from state-to-state, so some states such as Mississippi and Missouri mandate workers’ comp insurance if the company has a minimum of 5 employees. In addition, your state may have other particular rules for workers’ comp claims regarding entertainment, agricultural or domestic industries.
The laws may seem simple, but seasonal employment workers’ compensation isn’t always black and white. For instance, many companies use temp agencies to hire seasonal employees. And while temporary employees are still granted rights to workers’ compensation protection, it’s not always apparent which party is responsible for the benefits – the employer or the temp agency.
Insurance companies may try to deny the liability of injured workers hired through a temp agency. In this scenario, the temp agency is usually considered to be the employer, not the company where the employee worked. This detail is usually outlined in the contract the temp agency has you sign, so be sure to carefully read the documents that you sign! And, never feel afraid to ask any questions that you may have regarding your rights to wage loss coverage and medical benefits.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take on Seasonal Employment
If you are on the search additional jobs this holiday season, you can rest assured knowing that you are covered for workers’ compensation benefits under both State and Federal employment laws. However, it’s important to note that under Federal law, there are a few limited employment types where an employee may not be covered for an accident that occurred at work. If you find yourself in one of these unique situations, it would be in your best interest to contact a workers’ compensation attorney experienced in your state’s laws to discuss how to file a workers’ compensation claim.
It’s also imperative to remember that there is an increase in work-related injuries around the holiday season for a number of reasons – including a surge in traffic, companies staying open later, elevated stress levels, and more. If you are considered working as a seasonal or part-time employee, make sure to ask your potential employer what procedures will be taken to ensure that their employees are safe on the job.
And, if you do unfortunately find yourself injured at your seasonal or part-time job, reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer ASAP to learn more about your rights. Contact the law firm of Craig Altman at (215) 703-9889 for a free consultation today.