Every year as people begin to talk about what they are making for Thanksgiving and which family member will top their crazy list, I get excited.  Now, admittedly, I love to see and spend time with my family, but the turkey is only a small fraction of what I am excited about.  For the last several years, Thanksgiving Day has consisted of looking at shopping ads and planning our strategic attack on the sales.  Yes, I am a Black Friday shopper. 

Now, I have never stood in line for more than two hours or hurled myself towards a pile of super-slash-priced video games, but I enjoy getting out in the crowd, watching for sales, and the overall craziness of this once-a-year event.   This year, however, some of the sales began at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving and for once, it wasn’t a matter of what time were we getting up, but rather, were we even going to bed?  This got me thinking about the workers, many of them part-time and seasonal workers, who had to skip their own Thanksgiving feasts to prepare for us, the crazy shoppers. 

The number of retail positions increase over the holidays.  Many of these jobs are part-time or seasonal positions.  Not only are seasonal workers in stores, but they are often hired in the winter to plow roads or work at ski resorts.  During the summer, they may be hired at amusement parks, on construction crews, and at golf courses. If you one of those doing the hiring of these workers, did you know part-time and seasonal workers are most likely covered under your state’s workers’ compensation insurance? 

As a general rule, whether you are full-time, part-time or a seasonal employee, workers’ compensation provides coverage, although you should verify with your agent or insurer to be sure this is true for your own part-time or seasonal workers.  It’s important to be sure all workers are aware of this coverage and what they should do if they are injured while working no matter what the length of their employment will be.

 There are some basic steps that should be followed and which will take place after an injury:

  1. The injured worker should report the injury promptly to their employer.
  2. The injured worker, together with their employer, should complete a First Report of Injury.
  3. The insurance carrier will begin their investigation by confirming coverage.
  4. If the claim is accepted, the insurance carrier will contact the doctor’s office to provide insurance information and authorize treatment.
  5. The insurance carrier will send wage statements and job description forms to the employer (even with a seasonal worker, a wage basis is needed).
  6. The insurance carrier will continue to work closely with the doctor’s office to monitor medical treatment.
  7. Once the patient reaches maximum medical improvement, the insurance carrier will obtain the final medical report from the doctor’s office.

It’s important to report all claims right away, and that all workers understand the coverage available to them and the proper steps to take following a work-related claim.  Do you employ seasonal or  part-time workers? Have you ever been one who was injured on the job?  What was your experience?

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