Workers Compensation for Temporary & Seasonal Employees
There are lots of ways to earn a living by working jobs that only last for a limited amount of time. Sometimes, offices need to hire temporary employees to help out with a project or to fill in while someone is on leave. Or, very often, companies in certain industries hire temporary employees on a seasonal basis to keep up with business at peak times. Every fall, you’ll see retail stores, warehouses, and delivery companies start looking to hire help for the busy holiday season. Resorts and towns that rely on tourism will always have a plethora of job openings ahead of their busy season. Or companies that focus on landscaping and yard maintenance are sure to be hiring people to help with the spring and summer rush.
Regardless of what type of job a temporary employee is being hired for, safety needs to be a top priority. In 2020, it was reported that temporary employees have higher rates of on-the-job injuries than permanent employees. This is particularly true among people working in agriculture, construction, and extraction. Injured temporary employees also tend to be younger and less experienced than permanent workers since they’ve spent less time on the job and are less likely to recognize safety hazards in the workplace.
Workplace Safety for Temporary & Seasonal Workers
Just because a person is working on a temporary basis, that doesn’t mean it’s okay for employers to neglect safety. Employers still have a responsibility to provide an environment to work in that is reasonably safe. This includes providing workplace safety training, supervision to make sure safety procedures are being followed by everyone, and removing any reasonably foreseeable hazards. These are the exact same types of things they should be doing for permanent employees.
If temporary employees are being brought on through a staffing agency, the staffing agency also has some responsibility to make sure the employer provides a safe working environment. According to OSHA, staffing agencies have a responsibility to do things like ask the employer about conditions of the workplace and about protections they provide, and be aware of what types of workplace hazards an employee might encounter.
Are Temporary & Seasonal Employees Eligible for Workers Compensation?
If you are injured on the job while working as a temporary or seasonal employee, you are entitled to collect workers compensation benefits just like you would as a permanent employee. Workers compensation provides coverage for medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages while you recover. It can also provide temporary total disability (TTD) or permanent disability coverage if it applies to your situation. However, it’s important to get in touch with a lawyer if you were injured as a temporary/seasonal employee to make sure your case is being handled appropriately. There are some differences in the ways claims for injured temporary employees are handled compared to claims for permanent employees.
In the case of lost wages, workers compensation typically pays a permanent employee about two-thirds of their income while they’re recovering from their injuries. But this isn’t necessarily the case with temporary/seasonal workers. For temporary/seasonal employees, lost wages might be determined based on other factors, like the season or the job itself. Or if you qualify for temporary total disability, that can be more complex depending on whether or not your injury lasts past your end work date. In some cases, people may be eligible to have TTD coverage extended past the end work date if their injuries make it impossible for them to resume working elsewhere as they normally would. A lawyer will be able to help make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.
Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer
Whether you’re a permanent employee or a temporary/seasonal employee, you deserve to work in a safe environment. And if you’re injured while trying to earn an honest living, it’s important to have a workplace injury lawyer on your side who can help you get all of the care you’re entitled to while you recover. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’ve helped many workplace injury victims handle their workers compensation claims and are ready to help you. Contact us today to get started.