Whether it’s putting money towards college, saving up for their first car, or helping out the family, many teenagers find themselves working part-time jobs on top of their studies. It’s a common part of the teenage experience. Unfortunately, young age does not prevent injury, and teenagers can get hurt at work just like anyone else. So before you get to work, it’s a good idea to know your rights especially on workers compensation for minors.
Is There Workers' Compensation For Minors?
In the U.S. all minors must be covered by workers’ compensation. In some states such as North Carolina, workers under the age of 18 are given additional protections.
For instance, in a regular workers’ comp case, your benefits will usually be calculated based on the amount you have made over the past year. However, if the case involves a minor, benefits will be determined according to their future earning capacity. In other words, they will look at how much the minor would be making if they’d been promoted as an adult.
It’s also important to note that in the case of permanent partial disability or permanent total disability cases, you may need to have a legal parent or guardian appear in court.
What if A Minor Becomes Injured in A Job They Are Prohibited To Work In?
In most cases, it is illegal for a minor to perform certain types of work. For example, some occupations require a person to be 18 years of age or older. Other jobs prohibit minors from performing certain tasks, such as operating heavy machinery or driving a vehicle. And still others forbid minors from working outside of school hours.
If a minor, despite the fact that he or she is violating the law, is injured while working in an employment situation where he or she is prohibited from doing so, the employer must pay workers' compensation benefits.
Even though a minor violates the law by working in an occupation or under conditions where he or she is not permitted to do so, the employer is liable for paying workers' compensation benefits if the minor sustains an injury while on the job. Add to that, if you employ a minor in an occupation that is prohibited by state law, you may also be subject to civil penalties and/or criminal charges.
Getting a job as a teenager can be a significant first step into the adult world. As such, it’s important to be aware of your rights and know what you should do if you’re hurt on the job. Don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced attorney. We can help guide you through your case and ensure that your rights are being protected.