Help! I’m a Temp Employee and I’ve Been Hurt at Work!
If you do temp work, then you know how quickly you can move from one company to the next. Even positions that transition you from temporary to permanent employee often require you to work for a period of 90 days, or even 180 days, before you’re considered a full-time employee. So what happens if you sustain a work injury while you’re employed as a temporary worker?
Don’t worry! You’re still eligible for workers’ compensation.
The first main difference between filing for workers’ compensation as a temporary employee versus filing as a permanent employee is who you’re filing with. Instead of filing a claim against the company you’re working for, you’ll be filing a claim against the temp agency.
One you’ve filed your workman’s compensation claim, your doctor may restrict your work hours or duties while you recover. Here’s where the next big difference comes in: The company you’re working for may not accommodate your working restrictions. In this case, your temp agency may have to assign you to a different company. In some cases, they might even assign you to do light duty in their office.
If your temp agency isn’t placing you, be sure that you have a written record (get copies of notes or emails) documenting that you are asking them at least once a week if they have anything available within your restrictions.
Just like any other worker, you’re entitled to compensation while you’re out of work. I’ve seen plenty of cases where temp agencies say their injured workers never expressed interest or were unavailable for work in order to get out of paying you workers’ comp benefits.
Don’t fall for this trap! Keep records and be consistent when asking your temp agency for work.
Temporary workers are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. If you’re being denied compensation or work while you’re on restricted hours, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.