Can Part-Time Employees Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits In Florida?
Many Floridians work part-time. But just because part-time employees work about half as many hours per week as full-time employees, it does not mean that they cannot get injured at work.
In fact, part-time employees are just as likely to suffer on-the-job injuries or develop work-related illnesses as their full-time counterparts. But are part-time employees eligible for workers’ compensation in Florida?
Many part-time employees in Florida mistakenly believe that they are not covered by workers’ compensation simply because they do not work full time. In reality, all employees – both part- and full-time – can obtain workers’ compensation benefits if their employer carries this type of insurance.
If you are a part-time employee who has been injured at work, contact a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney to help you obtain benefits for your medical expenses and lost wages.
Does Your Employer Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In order to determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation as a part-time employee, the first thing you should do is check if your employer has workers’ comp insurance.
Note: In Florida, not all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
Below are the three categories of employers who are legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees:
- Construction industry. Any employer with one or more employees.
- Non-construction industry. Any employer with four or more employees.
- Agricultural industry. Any employer with at least six employees.
How Can a Part-Time Employee Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Once you have determined that your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible for compensation after a workplace accident:
- Your injury occurred in the course and scope of your employment, or you developed a work-related illness;
- You were injured at work rather than commuting to or from work; and
- If you were on a business trip or traveling as part of your employment, you might be able to seek workers’ comp benefits.
There are other requirements to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. It is vital to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you meet the criteria to get compensated for your work-related injury or illness.
Note: You are not required to prove the employer’s fault (any other person’s fault, for that matter) in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.
Am I Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits if I’m an Independent Contractor?
While part-time and full-time employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, independent contractors and freelancers are excluded from workers’ comp coverage in Florida.
However, many employers in Florida misclassify their employees as independent contractors for the purpose of avoiding taxes and liability for work-related injuries.
In fact, an independent contractor could work for a company part- or full-time, but it does not make him/her an employee. If a worker is classified as an independent contractor, he or she is not eligible for workers’ compensation due to their employment status.
If you have been injured at work as a part-time employee, freelancer, or independent contractor, it is highly advised to consult with an experienced attorney to determine if you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Speak with our lawyers at Kobal Law to discuss your situation. Call at 813-873-2440 today.