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Summer jobs and workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Worker's Compensation

Every year, summertime brings a large change in the job market as thousands of workers take seasonal jobs. These may include students who pick up jobs during breaks from schooling and service industry workers who cater to the summer resort crowd, as well as workers taking various short-term positions that are open only during the warmer months of the year.

While these jobs may not be meant to last for more than a few months, they present many of the same risks of injury as any other employment. In fact, they may have even higher risks of injury due to the fact that the workers may have less experience and training.

Protection for seasonal workers

Fortunately, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system protects these seasonal workers after they have been injured on the job. Virtually all employers are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

If an employee is injured on the job or experiences a work-related illness, the employer’s insurance company should pay for the employee’s medical expenses. If their injury means that they must miss five or more days of work, they may also receive benefits to give them some income.

In this way, workers’ compensation is different from other programs for workers. For instance, employers generally do not have to pay unemployment benefits to terminated employees who had been employed on a seasonal basis.

What to do when your claim is denied

While these protections look pretty good on paper, the truth is that the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits does not always go smoothly for injured workers.

According to Massachusetts’ Department of Industrial Accidents, about half of all workers’ compensation claims run into some form of resistance from employers or insurers. This resistance may be little more than a little speed bump in the process, or it can lead to a serious dispute. In many cases, insurers provide less than a worker deserves. In some, insurers refuse to honor a claim.

The workers’ compensation system provides ample opportunities to appeal a denial or other bad decision. It’s a good idea to seek out professional representation when appealing a decision.