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As of 2017, the nation has over 2.3 million temporary or contract workers. Ohio, a state with a substantial industrial industry, hosts many of these temporary workers, and that raises many questions about benefits and protection. Temporary workers face all kinds of dangers, and can easily get hurt due to lack of proper training. So, can temporary workers access workers' compensation, and is it possible for their employers to help them recover fully? The answer is complicated, and each employee will face unique challenges, given their temporary status.
Temporary workers should inform all involved managers of the injury. That means that initially, they should inform the manager in charge of their daily work that the injury happened. Then, they should contact their agency and inform them of the accident.
Be sure to have the manager at your temporary location file an accident report. If they refuse to or make you feel as if it is unnecessary, inform your agency of that issue. Always seek medical attention, don't wait for someone to tell you it's okay to go see a doctor.
The employer and temp agency may make it seem like they have to sort out who gives you what paperwork. That’s not true, your temp agency and temporary employer should provide you with a doctor to see immediately. If they don’t, then seek medical attention and document that both employers were delaying treatment.
Technically both are your employer. As a temporary worker, you receive a paycheck, guidance, and other benefits form the temporary agency. However, wherever you're working that day is also responsible for your safety and takes the position of joint employer. As joint employers, both are responsible for your safety, safety training, and coverage under workers' compensation.
There are a lot of questions around workers' compensation when it comes to temporary workers. Fortunately, in Ohio, there are strict laws that require every single business to have workers' compensation insurance. There is no exclusion that would allow temporary agencies to get out of having coverage because of too few employees or reporting too little revenue.
Ohio requires every business to have workers' compensation coverage. It is not negotiable. Temporary workers do not fit into the position of an independent contractor so they can access coverage of their workers' compensation policies through both their temp agency and the employer they were working for at the time of the injury.
The other aspects that determine if someone can apply for workers' comp or not include that the injury had to happen at the job. Additionally, it had to happen while following procedure and standard practices, and it had to have happened during an active employee/employer relationship.
The loophole that many companies attempt to exploit to get out of paying for workers' compensation claims is that the employee wasn’t following protocol. The lack of training that temporary workers receive means that they only have what their direct manager is telling them. However, temporary workers can argue that the lack of training left them purposefully unaware of both policies and standard practices prior to starting the task that led to the injury.
Workers' comp attorneys can help temporary workers, and you may actually need one to get your benefits. Unlike other employees, a temp worker may not know who to list at their employer on the application. Many applications receive denial initially because of an incomplete or inaccurate application. Listing the wrong employer would lead to that.
For example, if you listed "Walmart" rather than "Grade A Temp Agency," your application would likely be denied. Although Walmart is a joint employer, they are not the direct employer, they do not issue your checks, and they're not directly responsible for your training and safety. They are indirectly responsible, but it's too difficult for the workers' compensation insurance company to sort that out themselves.
At Young, Reverman & Mazzei, we have a strong staff of skilled workers' compensation attorneys in Cincinnati, Ohio that can help you through the workers' compensation process. Many companies will battle these claims tooth and nail in an effort to keep their premiums down, and to minimize payouts. The reality is, though, that you have medical bills and lost time at work because of an injury that happened on the job.
You have a right to access workers' compensation, and you should receive the benefits you're owed to make a full recovery. Our attorneys will work with you throughout the entirety of the process to fight for the compensation you need.