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Temporary Staff & Part Time Worker Compensation & Injury Matters

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A number of recent studies found that temporary workers are more likely than full time staff to be involved in a workplace accident.  This trend is only expected to continue as US companies increasingly hire more temp and part time workers to fill job openings.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1990, there were roughly 1.1.million temp workers in the labor force, while in 2012 there were more than 2.54 million temp workers.

Companies hire temporary workers for a number of reasons:

  • Using temp staff allows companies to quickly "staff up" and "lay off" based on market fluctuations
  • Companies are generally not required to provide health insurance and benefit packages for temp workers
  • Temp staff are more willing to accept repetitive and/or more hazardous jobs that can be hard to fill with a full time employee. 

 In most cases, a temp worker's pay and any applicable worker's compensation coverage are paid by their representing staffing agency.  Because of the high turnover rate of temp staff and the fact that most companies are not responsible for temp staff compensation insurance, many temp workers receive minimal job and safety training.  As many temp staff work in lower paying jobs, the loss of a single paycheck or medical expenses resulting from an injury can have a long term, catastrophic effect on both the worker and their family.  

Whether a temporary or permanent employee, all workers are entitled to workers' compensation in the event of an injury.  Sadly, many temp workers who file for compensation benefits don't receive enough compensation or in some cases, any benefits at all.  

Despite the possible challenges of filing a worker's compensation claim, any injured worker should immediately report the issue to their supervisor and/or human resources contact.   The injured workers should also consult a workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible to document the matter, protect their rights and secure applicable compensation for their medical injuries and distress.