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Seasonal employees and their access to workers' compensation

Even though it's only the second full week of November, a lot of people already have Christmas shopping on their minds. Whether they choose to buy their presents in stores or online though, businesses will need to make sure that they have the staff available to meet the upcoming demand. Across the nation, this will mean an influx of temporary or seasonal workers, including here in Ohio.

Even though these temporary employees are held to the same standards as any full-time or part-time employee, many seasonal workers are not provided with the same safety training before beginning work. As you can imagine, this increases their risk of suffering a workplace injury that could require medical attention and may force them out of work for a period of time.

But on top of little safety training, they may also receive little instruction when it comes to their rights regarding workers' compensation for a work-related injury. Take for example a seasonal employee who is working for a sole proprietor here in Ohio. By state law, the sole proprietor is required to provide all of its workers, even temporary ones, with workers' compensation coverage. If this is not explained to a seasonal worker however, they may not know that their medical expenses could be covered if they file a claim.

The most important thing that businesses can do this upcoming holiday season is to properly train all employees on safe working practices to avoid injuries. According to the Insurance Journal, training should start on the first day of work and may include education on safe working procedures, use of personal protective equipment, and how to safeguard oneself while working around dangerous or heavy machinery.

It's also important for businesses to educate their employees about their right to workers' compensation benefits and how to file a claim in the event that an injury does occur. This way the employee can make sure that they are receiving the medical care they need and that an employer is not violating the employee's rights by failing to explain them properly.

Sources: The Insurance Journal, "'Tis the Season for Workplace Safety," Woody Hill, Nov. 7, 2014

The Ohio Bureau of Workers; compensation, "Payroll reports," Accessed Nov. 10, 2014

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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Columbus, OH 43215

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