Whether your teen has a part-time job throughout the year or they take a temporary job during winter break, they are almost certainly entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while working. Many parents don’t realize that minors have the same rights to workers’ comp as adults, and many kids don’t even know what it is.
They should. People 25 and younger are twice as likely as older workers to suffer a workplace injury. Let’s look at a few things that you and your child should know about workers’ comp.
Nearly all Illinois employers must carry workers’ comp insurance
Over 90% of employers in Illinois are required by law to make workers’ comp available for all employees. Nearly every employer who has at least one employee (even if they only work part-time) must carry this insurance.
Teens are often short-changed when it comes to safety training
Because teens typically work just a few days a week and/or a few hours a day, they often don’t get the same safety training as full-time employees, even though they need to. That means they may not know how to properly use equipment, how to correctly lift heavy items or when to ask for someone to spot them if they have to retrieve something from a high shelf. They may not know where the panic buttons are or what the protocol is if they get robbed or are otherwise threatened.
It’s crucial for teens to know their rights – especially if a manager tries to tell them that they don’t qualify for workers’ comp because they’re “Christmas help” or working part-time. Some front-line supervisors may not even know the law. Further, employers can’t legally terminate or otherwise retaliate against someone for filing a legitimate claim.
Has your teen suffered a workplace injury or illness that requires medical treatment and/or time away from work? If they are having difficulty being allowed to file a claim or getting their claim approved, it can help to seek legal guidance.