Almost every customer-facing business needs seasonal help during the winter holidays, so seasonal workers play a critical part in Pennsylvania’s workplace – especially in the hospitality and retail industries.
While seasonal jobs offer a lot of flexibility (for both the employee and their employer) plus a chance to earn some quick cash, seasonal workers are at a unique risk for on-the-job injuries. This is largely due to their lack of experience, poor training and the demands inherent to their positions during the holiday rush.
If a seasonal worker gets hurt on the job, are they entitled to workers’ compensation?
Workers’ comp isn’t just for regular employees
Seasonal workers (as well as temp workers and part-timers) are all entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when they’re injured in the course of their job duties. This is true even if the seasonal worker is injured on their first day on the job.
Here are some key things that all seasonal workers need to keep in mind:
- Your health is your first priority. Your employer cannot forbid you from seeking emergency medical treatment if you need it for a workplace injury.
- If your condition requires immediate care, seek treatment at a hospital or clinic and inform your employer as soon as possible afterward that you need to file a workers’ comp claim.
- In all cases, make sure that you report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Generally speaking, you have 21 days to report your injury to your employer (and you’re time-barred from making any claim at all if you wait more than 120 days), but prompt reporting helps tie your injury to your job more clearly, while delays raise questions about the legitimacy of a claim.
Seasonal workers can face some challenges with their workers’ compensation claims, not the least of which is reluctance by employers to treat such claims as valid. If you’re a seasonal employee who has been injured and you’re experiencing difficulty obtaining the benefits you’re rightfully due, it may be time to seek legal guidance.