In most cases, part-time employees can file for workers’ compensation in Georgia.
Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance if they regularly employ three or more people in their Georgia business. If a part-time employee has regularly scheduled hours or days of work, they are generally eligible to receive workers’ compensation for their injuries.
What Does “Regular” Part-Time Employee Mean?
According to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s website, “A regular part-time employee works regularly on a part-time basis.” In other words, a regular employee is someone who works at specific times, such as every Monday/Wednesday/Friday, or receives a regular work-shift schedule each week.
The definition of regular employee also includes seasonal hires, especially when a business regularly hires more workers during certain seasons.
What If You’re Injured as a Seasonal Employee?
Seasonal employees, whether they work part-time or full-time, are generally able to receive workers’ compensation. However, certain situations that may limit eligibility:
- Farm employers are exempt from the requirement to carry workers’ compensation coverage. An injured seasonal farm worker can only receive benefits if their employer voluntarily opted to purchase insurance coverage.
- Seasonal employees hired through a temporary employment agency to work on a job site can only receive workers’ compensation through the agency that placed them. Job sites that use the temp agency are considered the employer of the injured worker when it comes to processing the work injury claim.
What Requirements Do You Have to Meet for Workers’ Compensation?
All that is required for you to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits is to have been injured while performing your job within the course and scope of your employment. The number of hours you work each week or the length of your employment is irrelevant.
Age is also not a factor. This means that a teenager who was injured at their part-time may be able to receive workers’ compensation.
How Long Do You Have to Work to Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation kicks in as soon as you start your first day at your job. You do not have to work a minimum number of hours, days, weeks, or months. An injury on the job is still a work injury — it doesn’t matter how long you have been working at a place of business.
When Should You Report Your Injury?
Report any injury suffered during a work accident to your supervisor or boss immediately. Workers’ compensation law technically allows an injured employee up to 30 days to report an accident before forfeiting their benefits. But it is always better to inform your employer as soon as possible. A delay in reporting an injury could put your workers’ compensation claim in jeopardy.
If Your Employer Pushes Back
Sometimes employers try to lie or guilt their employees into dropping their workers’ compensation claims. They may say things like “you’re mistaken, part-time employees aren’t covered,” “you don’t work enough hours,” or “you haven’t worked enough days/weeks,” etc.
Don’t listen to them. Even as a part-time employee, you have rights when it comes to your health and well-being. You are entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits as full-time employees.
How to File a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim
Injured Georgia workers must fill out and complete form WC-14. This can be found on the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website.
A copy of the form must be sent to your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you don’t know who the employer’s insurance carrier is, you can call the state board’s coverage desk.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Represent Me?
While an injured worker can handle their claim on their own, it is recommended they consult an experienced attorney first.
There are many ways a workers’ compensation claim can go wrong. Do you know what to do if your claim is denied? Do you know how to conduct yourself at a workers’ compensation hearing before an administrative law judge? What if the insurance company suddenly stops sending your weekly checks?
A good workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and keep up with all the deadlines and forms that are needed. They will also fight for you if your work injury claim was unfairly denied.
Gary Martin Hays & Associates has been representing injured Georgia workers since 1993. We understand the law and aren’t intimidated by the insurance companies' delay tactics.
For a free consultation regarding your Georgia workers’ compensation claim, call (770) 934-8000. The sooner you call us and file, the sooner you can recover your health and the money you need to take of yourself and your family.