When lights go up, the malls fill up and your kids have lists for Santa Claus on their mind, you know it’s Christmas time. It’s also a time for seasonal hiring.
Many big box retailers, shipping companies and more need workers to fill their holiday demands. Macy’s said it plans to hire 83,000 seasonal workers while UPS is expecting to hire 95,000 workers.
If you’re one of the thousands of Oklahomans who will work a temporary or seasonal job this holiday season and you get hurt on the job, you’re not on your own. Under Oklahoma law, almost all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect you. The insurance pays for your medical care and rehabilitation, and it reimburses some of your lost wages.
How many hours you work each week and how many weeks you work – whether they total a month or a year – don’t affect coverage. Coverage depends on the nature of your job and who you work for.
Sound good? It can be, but the devil is in the details.
You might not be covered
While many of the biggest companies that hire extra holiday help will offer workers compensation coverage, a handful of employers and jobs are exempt from providing mandatory workers’ compensation coverage in Oklahoma.
Family-run businesses: If you go to work for a small family company or shop, they don’t have to cover you if they have five or fewer employees or if you are related.
Agriculture or horticulture: While the bulk of agricultural work is done in warmer weather, if you work on a farm, ranch or in any other agricultural or horticultural capacity, your employer doesn’t have to cover you if his total payroll is less than $100,000 a year.
Household help: Likewise, if you’re a student on break and decide to babysit or work in some other domestic capacity, you may not be covered. Domestic employers aren’t under any obligation to carry workers’ comp insurance if their payrolls are less than $10,000 a year.
Workers Compensation can get complicated
There are many variables when it comes to filing a workers compensation claim in Oklahoma. When you make a claim, you waive the right to sue your employer over what happened. So if you feel your employer acted negligently, you’ll want to seriously consider filing for workers compensation.
If and when you decide to pursue a claim, there are things you can do – or not do – that might cost you benefits. You have a relatively short window of time within which to report your injury.
The extent of compensation for lost wages is calculated using the state’s average weekly wage – currently $736 a week – and your own.
If you’re permanently disabled, qualifying for workers’ comp and determining how much compensation you’ll receive becomes trickier. A doctor must decide just how impaired you are and how able you are to take care of your own personal needs.
With the potential pitfalls mentioned above, you’ll need guidance. Our firm can assess your accident and give you the answers you need. Call us today at (405) 703-4567.