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Workers compensation is intended to protect an employee against the financial consequences of an injury while on the job. But workers compensation doesn't necessarily cover all employees. Workers compensation is highly state-dependent, and those who are temporary, contracted, or seasonal may find themselves vulnerable in the event of an accident or injury.
Temporary and Seasonal Employees Are Treated the Same
For business owners, temporary employees are usually employees hired on a per-project basis, whereas seasonal employees are employees hired for a specific seasonal purpose, such as the holidays. For workers compensation, both temporary and seasonal employees are considered identical. Whether they are a short-term employee designed to bridge the gap during a project or an employee that is brought in every Christmas, they will be considered the same.
Seasonal and Temporary Employees May Not Be Covered
Some states cover all employees, others don't. Seasonal employees, temporary employees, and other specialty employees such as agricultural employees are occasionally not included in a workers compensation system. Employees need to check with their employer when they are engaging in these contracts because otherwise they may not be able to get compensation if they are injured.
Independent Contractors Are Another Class
Independent contractors aren't paid a salary but instead are contracted out as a 1099 vendor. Independent contractors are essentially employed by themselves but are selling their services to a company. Consequently, independent contractors are less likely to be included on workers compensation policies than seasonal or temporary employees. However, they can sometimes be included -- it depends on state law.
Getting Compensation Without Workers Compensation
Employees not covered under workers compensation insurance still have recourse if they are injured on the job. An uncovered employee will have to procure compensation through the court system rather than elsewhere. They will need to bring a civil suit against their employer and will need to win that suit. However, larger claims might require this anyway, as there is an upper cap on the amount that workers compensation can pay out. An employment injury attorney will usually be useful for a successful civil suit as they will be able to organize the documentation and walk the employee through the process.
If you are a temporary, contracted, or seasonal employee and have been injured on the job, it's in your best interest to immediately contact an employment attorney. An attorney who specializes in workers compensation (such as one from McMullen & Ochs PLLC) will be able to give you information about your state's laws and direct you to your next step.Share
20 May 2016