With Christmas just around the corner, thousands of Americans take on seasonal employment to earn extra bucks during the holiday season. Contrary to the popular belief, people dressed as Santa are not the only seasonal workers who enter the workforce during the year’s most festive period.
In fact, many companies all across California are on the hunt for seasonal workers ahead of Christmas due to the increased demand from customers from December 1 to January 14. But what happens if you get injured in the course of your seasonal employment?
Are seasonal workers in California entitled to workers compensation benefits? If this question has bothered you for the past few days or so – and you have had several sleepless nights trying to figure out the answer – rejoice! We invited our workers compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach to explain whether or not seasonal workers are covered by workers compensation in California.
If you are a seasonal worker who earns a living during peak sales, holiday season, or manufacturing and tourism periods, you may be entitled to workers comp benefits for your on-the-job injury like all other full-time employees who work for the entire year.
Fact: Migrant workers who work during planting and harvesting seasons may also be covered by workers comp laws in California.
However, it is not that simple, as there are situations when seasonal workers are denied workers comp benefits. Oftentimes, the reasons for denying a seasonal workers comp claim is illegal and fraudulent, while other times, seasonal workers can be legally denied compensation when they were injured in the course of their employment.
Luckily for you, California is one of 13 states that require employers to provide workers compensation benefits to seasonal workers. And more often than not, seasonal workers have the same rights as full-time employees. But it gets more complicated than that.
Under California law, all employees have the right to work in a safe workplace regardless of their status and role. However, what many do not realize is that seasonal workers are more prone to on-the-job injuries compared to other workers.
Our workers compensation lawyer in Los Angeles, CA explains this phenomenon by the fact that more often than not, seasonal workers are not familiar with the workplace because of limited time on the job and less training during the hiring process.
Let’s also not forget that seasonal workers are more likely to be working under pressure and be stressed out, which increases the likelihood of a workplace injury. Since many seasonal workers work during the holiday season and manufacturing periods, they are more prone to fatigue, which also increases the risk of on-the-job injury or illness.
While seasonal workers are covered by workers compensation law in California, obtaining those benefits becomes complicated and, in many situations, nearly impossible when employers use temporary agencies to hire seasonal workers. As a result, it is not always apparent who is responsible to pay those benefits, the employer or the temp agency.
It often happens that an employer’s insurance company attempts to deny seasonal workers comp benefits arguing that they were hired through a temp agency. In order to know who is responsible for your on-the-job injury, read your employment contract and consult with a Los Angeles workers compensation attorney.