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Q: I’m a seasonal employee at a local airport, and I was recently hurt at work. Am I still eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits?

A:

The holidays are a busy time for nearly every industry. More people are traveling to visit family, and more people open their wallets and hit the stores. Retailers, airlines, and hospitality business are all in the habit of hiring seasonal workers to help bridge the gap between standard staffing and the increased need from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

If you, or someone you know, work in the medical field, you may also know that the holiday season brings far more injuries than any other time of year. The roads are icy, floors are wet, and people are overextending themselves, leading to crowded emergency rooms and doctor’s offices.

As a seasonal airport employee, you are probably dealing with a dangerous trifecta of extra-heavy luggage, wet floors, and the winter elements, so it is no wonder you were hurt on the job! Fortunately, your seasonal status does not affect the fact that you are a regular employee as far as pay goes. You receive an hourly wage, have taxes deducted from your paycheck, and filled out a Form W-4 when you began work.

The other important issue that you mentioned was that you were injured while at work. Workers’ compensation is only designed to assist those hurt while performing the duties of your job. If you ran across the street to grab a coffee on your break and slipped on the sidewalk outside, you may be out of luck. If you slipped on the ramp while loading a bag onto the airplane, however, you were hurt while performing your job.

Your first step will be to report your injury to your employer. Hopefully, they are cooperative and the process goes smoothly. If you sense that a conflict is brewing, however, it is best to speak with an attorney quickly to ensure that you do not miss out on important benefits—contact our office today to have your important questions answered. Our local offices can be reached by phone, or by clicking on the live chat feature on this page.

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