Seasonal employees add value to your company and remain an asset for your business. You may wonder, though, if you must provide these temporary employees with Worker’s Compensation. Understand the law and your responsibility to your employees as you maintain a safe workplace environment.
Why Hire Seasonal Workers?
Temporary employees can provide numerous benefits to companies any time of the year. You may hire these employees to:
- Cover duties when a regular employee takes sick leave or a vacation.
- Meet temporary production booms.
- Perform seasonal duties such as snow removal or landscaping.
- Diversify your workforce.
- Assess available talent before you expand operations and hire more employees.
What Dangers do Seasonal Workers Face?
You may provide safety training to all your employees, but this training might not be adequate for your seasonal workers. They may forget safety procedures, transfer to a department that features unfamiliar equipment or simply receive in injury as they perform their assigned duties. Common injuries among seasonal workers include:
- Overexertion while lifting, pushing or holding items
- Strain from improper carrying posture
- Repetitive injuries from repeatedly performing the same task
If an employee suffers a job-related injury or illness, he or she can file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is insurance that covers occupational illnesses or injuries. It will pay for medical treatment and other expenses, including lost wages, rehabilitation, job training and temporary disability, as the injured or ill employee recovers.
Must you Provide Workers’ Compensation to Seasonal Employees?
The United States Department of Labor oversees Workers’ Compensation. However, individual states determine the specific Workers’ Compensation requirements for businesses in that state. Familiarize yourself with your state’s laws as you determine your specific Workers’ Compensation obligations.
Also, remember that you are ultimately responsible for the safety of your employees. This requirement generally means you must provide Workers’ Compensation for every worker whether they work full-time hours year-round or only seasonally.
If you are required to provide Workers’ Compensation for seasonal workers but don’t and someone is injured or becomes ill, you could face fines and court costs. Plus, you’ll still be responsible to cover the costs associated with treating the work-related injury or illness.
How do you Purchase Workers’ Compensation for seasonal Workers?
Discuss your specific hiring practices with your insurance agent. He or she will recommend the right insurance products, including Workers’ Compensation, for your business and ensure you purchase policies with adequate coverage for all your employees.
As you meet your staffing needs, ensure you purchase the right insurance for all your employees. It’s important for all your employees, including seasonal workers.