Are Temporary Workers Entitled To Workers' Compensation?
Over the holidays, stores and restaurants typically hire scores of additional staff to help handle the rush of holiday shoppers. While these workers stay busy from November clear through to Christmas, many of them find themselves out of a job January first. While these workers are only temporary, they can suffer on-the-job injuries, which unfortunately can result in permanent damages. If you or someone you love is working as a temporary worker this holiday season, here is what you need to know concerning their rights should they be injured.
The Need for Temporary Workers
The holiday season is the main moneymaking time of the year for many retail and dining establishments. Department stores find themselves needing extra help to accommodate holiday traffic, while restaurants and bars frequently need a few extra hands to assist with holiday parties. According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL) seasonal workers, whether they are full or part-time, are entitled to the same protections as other employees in terms of equal pay, breaks, and meals, as well as adherence to safety standards. Unfortunately, temporary workers are just as likely as permanent workers to suffer on-the-job injuries. With all the bustle and commotion surrounding the holidays as well as their relative lack of experience in a particular job or setting, temporary workers may be more likely to suffer injuries such as:
- Muscle and tendon strain and sprains
- Bone fractures
- Concussion and head injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries
Workers’ Compensation for Temporary Workers
According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), seasonal and temporary workers are often entitled to the same unemployment benefits other, more permanent employees enjoy. Injured workers covered under workers’ compensation may be entitled to the following, depending on the severity of their injuries:
- Medical expenses
- Transportation to and from doctor appointments
- Cost of recuperative and rehabilitative care
- Lost wages
- Temporary or permanent disability
According to the WCC, S.C. law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to both full and part-time employees. There is an exception in the law for casual employees, which tends to cause confusion among employers and employees alike. While every situation is different, employment is generally considered casual when it is not permanent or periodically regular. The argument can be made that while seasonal employees are not permanent, they are regular, as the services provided by these employees will be generally required each season.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm immediately. Our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys may be able to help you get the benefits you need to recover from your injuries while ensuring your family is provided for, regardless of whether you are a permanent or temporary employee. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we are prepared to help.