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Can Temporary Workers File Workman’s Compensation Claims in New Jersey?

February 27, 2023 Tim Bartzos, Esq.

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In 2022, there are over 127,000 temporary employees working around the United States. Temporary employees make up a large majority of the economy and can be beneficial to any workplace. But what happens when you're injured at work and you're considered a temporary employee instead of a full-time employee? Are you able to file a workers compensation claim? To put it simply, yes you are. Whether you are a full-time or part-time employee, it is your employer’s responsibility to provide you and your coworkers with a safe working environment.

Today, there are over 12,554 Employment & Recruiting Agencies in the United States. These temp agencies along with your employer are responsible and required to carry workers’ compensation coverage and you as the employee are allowed to ask both your employer and the temp agency in which you were hired if they have workers’ compensation coverage and if that coverage applies to temporary employees.

What is a “joint employer”?

The relationship between the employer and the temp agency is known as a “joint employer.” This means that each company has an equal responsibility to provide you with workers compensation insurance. By law most temp agencies will have workers compensation insurance in place for their employees when they go out to work at another company, however, receiving companies may still be subject to liability for individuals who they have working at their facility and under their direction.

According to New Jersey state law, it is mandated that every employer carries Workers Compensation Insurance. Regardless of if you are a limited liability company or a company that only hires part time or seasonal employees, in New Jersey it is required as the employer to provide your workers, both full and temporary, with Workers Compensation Insurance.

As a temporary employee, you probably need workers compensation insurance more than a full-time employee, as your workplace conditions can be more dangerous to you as a temporary employee than a full-time employee.

Temporary Employees May Need Worker’s Comp More Than Full-Time Employees

First being that light industrial jobs and working in warehouses and assembly jobs are typically where the most injuries occur, and these are typically where most temp employees work.

Secondly, most temp agencies see their clients as easily replaceable and, in an effort, to save some money, they will do anything to cut corners, even if that means cutting corners on safety.

Finally, most employers do not offer or invest in training courses to their temporary employees. This can lead to temp employees working outside their scope of knowledge and out of their assignment.

If you find yourself currently working as a temporary employee and you are unaware of if you will be covered by your employment’s workers compensation insurance, talk to your employer directly. If they do not cover you as a temporary employee, come talk with the attorneys at Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota, LLP, and explore your legal options.

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