Summer is moving into full swing, especially in Florida. It won’t be long before a legion of teenagers start looking for part-time work and summer jobs, so they can make a little money. Unfortunately, part-time workers and new hires are among the most vulnerable to workplace injuries, simply because they often lack the training and experience that other workers have.
A lot of people automatically assume that part-time workers and temporary summer employees aren’t covered by workers’ compensation insurance when they’re injured or sickened on the job – but that’s simply not true.
The vast majority of workers are covered
Generally speaking, most workers in this state are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, and that doesn’t just apply to “regular” employees. This is true even if you are a part-time employee who is just working for the summer and you’re injured on your very first day on the job.
Whether you’re a full-time or part-time employee, you’re still entitled to have medical care associated with your work injury or illness covered through the workers’ comp system. That’s a huge advantage over having to either pay for your care out-of-pocket (or pay a deductible and co-pay if you do have regular health insurance).
You’re also likely entitled to some replacement wages, although part-time work does mean that what you’ll receive will be lower than someone who worked full-time. Workers are usually entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages, so it’s important to make sure that you have a clear picture of your average when you file a claim.
Employers aren’t always up-front about your rights
What if your employer says you’re not eligible for benefits because of your part-time status or because you’re “too new” to file? Well, they may simply be misinformed about your rights, or they may be trying to protect their bottom line by discouraging valid claims.
Workers’ compensation benefits are supposed to be an easy, “no-fault” system that you can rely on in your time of need, but it doesn’t always work that way. If you’re having difficulty getting the benefits that you’re due, it might be time to seek legal guidance in order to learn more about your rights.