Are Temporary Workers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

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Are Temporary Workers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Temporary workers form a significant chunk of the labor market, with estimates around 10 percent of the workforce being hired on a temporary basis.  Temp workers typically have fewer employment protections in the workplace, but they still have the right to a safe work environment.  As such, temporary workers in California are typically provided workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury.  They are also protected from illegal actions such as retaliation for filing a claim.

Back in 2014, then California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-1897, a law addressing client liability in labor contracting, adding certain protections for temporary workers.

This bill would require a client employer to share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by that labor contractor for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers’ compensation coverage. The bill would prohibit a client employer from shifting to the labor contractor legal duties or liabilities under workplace safety provisions with respect to workers provided by the labor contractor.

By law, temporary workers in California are supposed to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance provided by their temp agency.  If the temp agency does not carry workers’ comp coverage, the company utilizing temporary workers can be fined.  There are, however, some exemptions.  Homeowners, businesses with fewer than 25 workers, or businesses who use five or fewer temporary workers are not subject to punishment under AB-1897.  In the unlikely event that a small business utilizes an disreputable temp agency, temporary workers may find themselves unprotected.

The best way for any injured worker to protect their rights is to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.  If you are a temporary worker injured while on assignment, the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you pursue a workers’ compensation claim.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation.

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