Every year, the months of November and December are especially busy. Holiday shoppers and seasonal gatherings mean more goods and services have to be provided, and many businesses seek to hire more employees to help ease the burden of this hectic time.
Seasonal jobs can be demanding. Employees may be required to stand for long hours, load and unload heavy objects, and navigate their job duties in crowded or congested spaces. It’s understandable that workplace injuries often increase during this time.
If you’re a seasonal worker, what are your rights? Can you obtain the same workers’ compensation benefits as other employees?
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in NC?
State law mandates that every employer with three or more employees secure workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured.
In North Carolina, all employees are equal in the eyes of the law. There is no distinction between temporary employees and any other kind of employee. This means that seasonal holiday workers have the same rights to workers’ compensation benefits as any other employee.
Workers’ compensation provides:
- Medical care. The system would cover any medical care related to the work injury, including hospitalizations, surgery, rehabilitation, medications, doctor visits, and more.
- Wage replacement. Compensation is also available for wages lost when the employee cannot work due to the injury. Calculating the rate of compensation can be more confusing for seasonal employees, but they still have a right to this benefit.
Common Injuries for Seasonal Holiday Workers
What kinds of injuries might be covered for seasonal workers? This time of year brings many challenges for businesses, and it’s easy for busy workers to have accidents. Some of the most common work-related injuries during this time include:
- Traffic accidents. Those rushing to complete tasks and deliver goods can make the roads a little riskier during the holidays. Poor weather can also increase the dangers.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Lifting or moving heavy packages over and over can cause repetitive motion injuries, such as muscle strains and tears.
- Slips, trips, and falls. During the holidays, more people and more goods are packed into public spaces. The weather may also create more slippery or uncertain surfaces. This increases the risk of slip and fall injuries, which can cause broken bones, cuts, muscle sprains, and much more.
- Electrocutions. While we can all enjoy well-lit holiday décor, these festive displays can create electrical risks for those who work near them. Take care to unplug decorations at the end of the day and avoid using lights on any metal signs or trees.
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits as a Seasonal Worker
When a seasonal worker is injured, they are entitled to the support necessary to achieve as full of a recovery as possible. Temporary workers can obtain workers’ compensation benefits by notifying their employer of the injury as soon as possible and filing for benefits.
While it is not required to hire an attorney, an experienced lawyer can help injured workers ensure they are able to obtain all the compensation to which they are entitled. It is not uncommon for employers and their insurance companies to discourage or deny claims, even for workers with legitimate and serious injuries.
At Brent Adams & Associates, our lawyers understand that missed work and wages can have a significant impact on employees and their families, especially during the holidays. Many workers have little experience with the workers’ compensation system, leaving them vulnerable.
Our legal team can help you fully understand your rights and pursue the compensation you need to recover. Call our Raleigh office today or fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch with a member of our team.