Can a seasonal worker qualify for workers’ compensation?
A lot of businesses rely on seasonal employees from time to time — particularly during the holidays. If you’re a seasonal worker, you know that your employer needs you and that you’re just as valuable as the employees who are there all year.
Your employer, however, may beg to differ if you get injured on the job. Employers are often reluctant to pay for the lost wages and medical expenses of an injured seasonal worker. Perhaps they reason that the injured employee would have only been there for a few weeks longer anyhow and use that logic to justify their reluctance to pay for an injury.
Some employees view a seasonal worker’s injuries with suspicion. You know that you were legitimately injured at work, but you may have a tough time convincing your employer (and their insurer) of that fact.
Unfortunately for you, the odds that you could be injured on the job are probably higher than the odds that regular employees face. Aside from the hustle and commotion that often accompany the holiday season in a retail environment, you’re simply not familiar with the job. That automatically makes you less aware of potential hazards than a long-term employee might be.
Workers’ compensation is a benefit that you have regardless of how long you have been an employee or how temporary that employment may be. Generally speaking, the only major exception is that independent contractors are not covered by workers’ comp. Some employers may erroneously classify their seasonal help as independent contractors to avoid covering them through workers’ comp. If that’s the case, an attorney can help you pursue the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.