Are temporary and part-time workers covered by workers’ comp?

Yes. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires virtually every employer to provide workers’ comp insurance for every employee. That includes seasonal and part-time workers, as well as employees hired directly…

Yes. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires virtually every employer to provide workers’ comp insurance for every employee. That includes seasonal and part-time workers, as well as employees hired directly for a temporary assignment. Temp workers hired through staffing agencies are covered through the staffing agency, although the staffing agency and the client company are both responsible for the workers’ safety.

For most people, the most important issue in determining whether you’re covered by workers’ comp is whether you were legally considered to be in an employer-employee relationship when the incident occurred. If you were an employee and you were injured or developed an illness in Pennsylvania that was caused by your ordinary job duties, you’re covered unless there are unusual issues.

It doesn’t matter of the employer is a nonprofit, a corporation, an LLC, a sole proprietor or any other business structure. It doesn’t matter if you’re a family business and your only employees are family members — even kids. It doesn’t even matter if you only have one employee — you’re required to provide workers’ comp insurance.

Who isn’t covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act?

The largest group of people working in Pennsylvania who aren’t covered by the PWCA are those who get compensation for workplace injuries through a different program. Most of them are federal workers and specific groups such as railroad employees; people who work at sea or on offshore facilities; longshoremen and harbor workers; and miners. Each of those groups is covered by a separate federal law.

Some people are excluded or exempt from workers’ comp for statutory reasons. Domestic workers, such as housekeepers and in-home child care workers, generally don’t get workers’ comp unless they’re employed by an agency. Many agricultural workers aren’t covered. Volunteers and some employees of religious institutions may be exempt, and some corporate officers can choose to be exempt.

What if I should be covered by my employer doesn’t have insurance?

Occasionally employers don’t purchase the required insurance but employees don’t find that out until they need it. To deal with such situations, the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund was created by the PWCA. You file your workers’ comp claim with the fund, although the rules are slightly different. It’s important to know, for instance, that you are generally required to notify the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund within 45 days of finding out your employer doesn’t have insurance.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, “Workers’ Compensation & the Injured Worker,” last reviewed September 2013