In New Jersey and across the country, workers’ compensation programs protect employees by providing them with financial benefits if they are injured on the job.
Depending on the nature of the injury, these benefits could be provided once or on a long-term disability basis, as would be the case in a situation in which a person was permanently disabled due to their work injury. Workers’ compensation coverage provides medical benefits to employees in the case of an accident or work injury; it also may provide full benefits for a limited time, partial benefits on a permanent basis, or even full benefits on a permanent basis. Additionally, workers’ compensation insurance provides death benefits to the family in the case that an employee is killed on the job.
In New Jersey, employers must either have federal or state workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in order to be legally allowed to operate. The workers an employer is required to cover, however, depends on their employment status. For example, New Jersey workers’ compensation law holds that permanent full-time employees, part-time employees, and seasonal workers are covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. On the other hand, independent contractors, unpaid interns, and volunteers, as well as sole proprietors who do not have any employees, are not covered by workers’ compensation laws.
While a huge subset of New Jersey’s workforce is temporary or seasonal workers or part-time employees, many don’t know where they stand in terms of workers’ compensation coverage and protections. In order to engage their job with full confidence and stability, it is important for such workers to know their rights, and where they fall on the spectrum of employment in New Jersey.
What is the difference between a seasonal worker, a part-time worker, and a full-time employee?
A part-time employee, on the other hand, is anyone who, on a temporary or permanent basis, works less than 80 percent of the full workweek for their industry. Some industries follow a 40-hour workweek, while others follow a 32-hour workweek; and a part-time employee, in these cases, would be someone who works 32 hours or 25.6 hours, respectively. A seasonal employee is someone who only works for certain months of the year. Seasonal employment is often working in the agricultural or retail sector, as much seasonal employment follows agricultural sowing and harvesting timelines and holiday shopping seasons. A temporary employee is someone who works either part-time or full-time for a set amount of time. These workers are usually procured for an employer through what is called a temp agency, a business that serves as a middle man between employers and temporary employees. In all of these cases, New Jersey workers’ compensation laws cover these employees, and they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the case that they are injured on the job.
For seasonal employees, the line between what injury happens on the job and what happens off the job is a bit blurred. For this reason, if you are a seasonal employee who has been injured due to your work – whether or not a specific injury happened at the place of employment – it is imperative that you seek the support of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.
Seasonal workers who are sowing or harvesting in the agricultural sector run a higher risk of becoming sick or injured due to the strenuous nature of their job; however, they don’t always receive the extent of their rights to workers’ compensation coverage because their injuries take subtle forms, such as exhaustion, heatstroke, or chronic stress. If you show symptoms of these issues – such as fatigue, dehydration, weak immune system, headaches, arthritic symptoms – contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Because these symptoms can point to a deeper issue that could have lifelong repercussions, addressing the injury before it is exacerbated is essential for your own wellbeing and your capacity to serve your employer.
Additionally, as a seasonal worker, you are entitled to proper training for any machinery and procedures you are expected to operate and carry out. If you were injured on the job because of a lack of training or safety precautions, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Our Mercer County Accident and Injury Lawyers Today
At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our team of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys supports our clients across Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area in ensuring that their rights as seasonal workers are met when they are injured on the job.