Retail stores – whether they’re big chains or not – rely on the unusual uptick in shopping around the holiday season to stay in the black, financially. To handle all those extra shoppers, they often hire a lot of seasonal help.

That can be a problem, however, for several reasons. Seasonal workers may be young and generally inexperienced, or they might be sedentary folks who are just looking to boost their holiday budgets – or they may even be tired parents working a second job to provide for their kids.

All three groups are more vulnerable than average to workplace accidents – especially when you consider that all these seasonal workers are new to their jobs (and may have had little to no safety training before they started).

All workers are covered, even temporary hires and seasonal employees

If you (or your children) are doing seasonal work this year, you should be aware that you’re covered under workers’ comp – just like any other employee. This includes even if you’re hurt during your first day on the job – so don’t let anybody tell you differently.

If you do get injured, you need to keep a few important rules in mind:

  • Unless you need emergency care first, you should report your injury to your supervisor, manager or employer as soon as it happens. Follow it up in writing. You have a maximum of 21 days to make that notice.
  • Let your medical provider know how you were injured. That could be important to your claim later.
  • Negligence is not a part of workers’ compensation claims. It doesn’t matter if you made a mistake that led to your injury or not.
  • You can qualify for benefits even if you were injured off-site, so long as you were still acting on your employer’s behalf. That means if you were sent on a coffee run for the staff and fell, you can still claim compensation.


If you get injured on the job and your employer balks at paying for your care and other benefits, find out what it takes to get your workers’ comp approved.