Now that the holiday rush is in full swing and people are scrambling for gifts, the risk of being injured at the workplace increases. During the holiday season many industries, especially retail, see an influx in guests, clients, shoppers, etc… Sales are up and merchandise is flying off the shelves.
This often means that the employee is also scrambling. Scrambling to assists shoppers, restock the shelves, clean, etc… When we are running around and a lot busier than normal, the risk of injury increases for a variety of reasons. It could be that we are not as careful as we are in slower times or could be just the added movement of dealing with the job when there are double or triple the amount of normal shoppers.
Here in Florida, the holiday season can also be associated with the “snowbird” season, that time of year where residents of the far north come down to paradise to escape the snow and cold. Who can blame them? This influx of people from the north for the season coupled with shopping expectations during the holidays, often means more jobs for Florida workers during these months. With the availability of “seasonal” jobs, comes higher employment, more money, and happier people who now have work. It also means that more people will get injured. Its pure math, the more workers there are, the more workers there are who get injured.
Some workers who take seasonal jobs may get injured and not report the accident for a variety of reasons. They may think that they are not entitled to benefits due to being a seasonal employee, they may be worried about losing their job and not having enough money to have a good holiday themselves, or they may think that they can just power through and worry about it later. All of the above are an incorrect.
Injured on the Job
If you are a seasonal worker and injured on the job, you are most likely entitled to Workers Compensation benefits. As long as your employer falls within the scope of the law itself, which most due, especially retail stores, then you are probably covered. The threat of losing your job pursuant to filing a claim is a valid concern. However, under the laws of Florida, a employer cannot fire you or retaliate against you for being on workers compensation. If they do, you may have an employment law claim separate from workers compensation against the company. Lastly, believing that you can just get through the season and file later is an awful idea. You should report the injury right away and get a copy of the incident report, no matter how small you believe the accident to be. If you wait over thirty days to report the injury, your claim may be denied due late reporting.
Get Expert Help
These situations can become extremely complex. We would love to discuss your case and explain all of your options to make sure that the Carrier is providing the correct benefits that you are entitled to under the law. This is why it is important to hire a workers’ compensation attorney who handles these types of situations and knows what your entitled to and how to approach a variety of situations from injured seasonal employees, to full time salaried employees. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please give us a call at (877) 8174127. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.