As an unpaid intern or apprentice, am I covered by Ohio Workers’ Compensation?
by Kara Dolan-West | Sep 22, 2020 | Workers' Compensation
As an unpaid intern or apprentice, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage if you are injured on the job.
Ohio’s General Assembly extended workers’ compensation coverage to apprentices engaged in formal training programs in 1961. The coverage was extended beyond apprentices in 1975 to cover persons engaged in pre-apprenticeship training programs, entry-level trainees, and journeyman trainees.
This means that if you have entered into a contract as an apprentice, an entry-level trainee or a journeyman trainee, or for apprentice training, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have been injured as a result of your position.
It is important to analyze if you were in the course and scope of your employment at the time of your injury, and if the injury arose from your employment. Whether or not your injury occurred in the course and scope of your employment and arose from your employment is dependent on the facts and a thorough legal analysis.
To demonstrate your injury occurred in the course and scope of your employment, you will need to demonstrate what you were doing at the time of your injury at work and you will need to show a diagnosable condition supported by medical documentation. It is very important that you seek medication attention to document your injury or occupational disease as soon as you are aware of the injury. This contemporaneous medical evidence is very useful to determine if the injury occurred as a result of your work activity. You should also be certain to explain what you were doing at work when you were injured to the attending physician so the doctor can accurately provide a history of your injury within the medical record.
To demonstrate the injury arose from your employment, you may again look at the activity you were performing at the time of the injury. This information may be enough. However, if it is not, you may need the help of an attorney to go through a “totality of the circumstances” analysis. For any injury, but especially an injury experienced by an intern, apprentice, or minor, we may need to closely evaluate exactly what the injured person was doing at the time of the injury; was the injured party “on the clock,” even if he or she was not being paid wages at the time of the injury; was the injured person performing tasks to the benefit of the employer and at the instruction of the employer; and finally, we analyze how much control the employer had over the intern, apprentice, minor and the work environment and tasks being performed at the time of the injury.
You may benefit from discussing the specific facts of your case with a licensed workers’ compensation attorney in Columbus at The Bainbridge Firm. Contact us today to discuss your case in detail.
If you sustained a workplace injury, contact the Bainbridge Firm to speak with one of our experienced Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys. Schedule a free consultation at our Columbus, Marion, Portsmouth, Waverly, Cambridge, and Springfield or Ironton law offices. Please call 800-762-1612 or contact us online.
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