Seasonal employees make up a significant amount of the workforce in the United States, which is particularly true in the tourism-driven state of Florida. Even if your period of employment is temporary, injuries occurring in the workplace can substantially impact your earning potential and health. Understanding workers’ compensation and seasonal employment laws can help you protect your rights.
Defining Seasonal Employees in Florida
To figure out whether or not you’re considered a seasonal employee, there are a few basic metrics you can look at.
First, do people in your work position typically work for six months or less? If so, you may only be employed during the busy season, which would make you a seasonal worker. Second, does the start period of employment start in the same season each year? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you may be a seasonal worker.
Seasonal employers are common in several Florida industries, including agriculture, tourism, and retail. Demand for seasonal workers is high, particularly in Florida, where there are over 22,000 foreign workers with H-2A visas for seasonal agricultural employment.
Workers’ Compensation Requirements in Florida
There are several laws defining workers’ compensation requirements within the state of Florida. Certain industries must carry workers’ compensation insurance, including:
- Construction companies with one or more employees
- Non-construction employers with four or more employees
- Agriculture companies that have at least six regular employees or 12 seasonal workers, defined as employees that work at least 30 days in a single season but no more than 45 days in a year
Coverage for Seasonal Employees
In Florida, all employees qualify for workers’ compensation if they meet the requirements of a workplace-related injury or illness. It’s important to note that companies that hire subcontractors have slightly different standards to meet. When a company uses subcontractors to complete construction work, the subcontractor must provide their own workers’ compensation insurance. The responsibility of verifying insurance coverage falls on the contractor, however, and the contractor must pay out benefits if an injury occurs and the subcontractor is not covered. Additionally, out-of-state employers that are temporarily working in Florida may be allowed to meet the workers’ compensation requirements of their home state.
What Insurance Covers for Seasonal Employees
If you are injured during the course of your work, workers’ compensation insurance can help you pay medical bills, avoid loss of income, and cover other expenses. The benefits that you’re entitled to can vary quite a bit, depending on the circumstances of your accident, the length of your employment, and the severity of your injury.
It’s important to contact an experienced employment lawyer regarding the specifics of your workers’ compensation case. If it meets certain standards, your medical expenses, mileage for travel to and from medical appointments, lost income, disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and other expenses will all be covered.
Get the Compensation You Deserve for Work Injuries in Florida
If you are injured on the job, it’s crucial to have a legal professional advocating for your best interests. Contact Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. at 561-687-5660 for a free consultation and case evaluation.