When discussing workers’ compensation benefits, most people understand this typically applies to just full-time employed workers. The benefits are designed to provide compensation if they are injured or become ill during their work.
However, this is just partially true. In some situations, temporary workers are eligible to receive these benefits too, if they suffer an injury or illness while on the job. It’s best to contact an attorney if you have suffered an injury to help you clarify the issue.
Who Must be Covered?
Temporary employees are used in various industries. These individuals usually work as seasonal labor, or they fill in if someone in the office is unavailable for an extended amount of time. When someone has a relationship with a temp agency (in the state of Florida these are known as employee leasing companies – ELCs or Professional Employer Organizations – PEOs), and are hired by a client, they are said to have a “joint employer” for these purposes. What this means is that both the client and the placement agency may be liable if damages are incurred by an injured temp worker. Keep in mind, though, every case is unique, and an attorney would be needed to sort out the details.
According to Florida law, employers, which include ELCs, that meet specific requirements must carry and offer workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. The requirements will vary based on the industry. For example, construction companies are required to have this coverage if they have one or more employees, which includes the owner; however, agricultural companies are required to have workers’ compensation coverage if they have six full-time workers or 12 seasonal employees who are working over 30 days per season, but under 45 days a calendar year.
What Are Your Options?
If you are an employee of an ELC or a PEO, you need to make sure the agency has the coverage required. There have been several cases of fraud where staffing agencies had no workers’ compensation coverage for temp workers. After you are sure the agency has invested in the needed coverage, you can file the standard workers’ compensation claim if you suffer an injury on the job. This is done the same way any other employee would.
Remember, though, there are some situations where the client company, not the ELC will be liable for providing workers’ compensation benefits. This usually occurs in situations where it has been negotiated between these companies. In either case, if you are injured while on the job, you need to notify all players. That will ensure you know who you should go through when trying to seek compensation.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help
Sometimes, working with a staffing agency is the best option. However, if you choose to do this, you need to know what your rights are. If you need more information, contact Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. by calling (561) 687-5660.