Are Part-Time and Temporary Workers in Pennsylvania Eligible for Workers' Compensation?

Suffering an on-the-job injury or illness can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. Workers' compensation provides medical and wage benefits to employees injured at work. But does it cover part-time and temporary workers? Here we examine eligibility in Pennsylvania.

Workers' comp in PA pays for medical treatment and partially replaces lost wages when an employee gets hurt while working. Key questions arise around eligibility for part-time and temp workers. Let's look at the requirements and definitions.

Workers' Comp Eligibility Requirements in PA

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act establishes the framework for benefits. To qualify:

  • The injury must occur in the “course and scope of employment.” This generally means while performing job duties or activities reasonably related to work.
  • Exceptions exist for certain types of workers like domestic servants, farm laborers, and casual employees.

The course and scope requirement is crucial in determining if part-time and temporary workers qualify for benefits.

Defining Part-Time and Temporary Workers in PA

  • Part-Time Workers – Under PA labor laws, part-time means employees working less than the standard full-time hours, often considered 35-40 hours per week. They can be permanent employees of the company.
  • Temporary Workers – The PA Unemployment Compensation Law defines temporary workers as those who work for a limited period or undertake short-term assignments through a staffing agency.
  • Contingent Workers – This describes independent contractors, on-call workers and temporary staff who are not full-time permanent employees. They often do not qualify for benefits.
  • Independent Contractors – These self-employed individuals typically do not qualify for workers' compensation coverage under PA law. Some exceptions exist.

Eligibility of Part-Time Workers

  • Generally Eligible – In most cases, part-time employees who suffer an on-the-job injury will qualify for workers' compensation benefits in Pennsylvania.
Exceptions & Nuances
  • Some laws require meeting a minimum hours threshold to establish employee status for benefits eligibility.
  • Working multiple concurrent part-time jobs can impact eligibility and benefit calculation.

Eligibility of Temporary Workers

Typically Eligible
  • Employees of temporary staffing agencies are generally covered while on assignment.
  • Short-term temporary workers also tend to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Independent contractor temps who control their own work may not qualify.
  • Some short-term assignments may fail the course and scope requirements.

Key Court Cases – Decisions like Astra Foods v. WCAB have upheld temporary worker eligibility for PA workers’ compensation.

Other Factors Impacting Eligibility

  • Immigration Status – Undocumented workers hurt on the job can still receive medical benefits but not disability payments.
  • Nature of Injury – Certain injuries, like psychological claims, may involve more scrutiny of eligibility.
  • Misclassification Issues – Employees incorrectly deemed independent contractors could be denied benefits.

The PA Workers’ Compensation Act provides coverage for most employees injured working including many part-time and temporary workers. However, eligibility should be reviewed case-by-case.

Don't Lose Out on Benefits You Deserve

If you are a worker injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you may still be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The experienced attorneys at McNair Law Offices are here to help you understand your rights and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve under the law.

Contact our team today at 814-918-3377 for your free consultation. Let us review your case details and advise you on the strongest approach to getting you the settlement you need. Don't let a work injury go uncompensated, call McNair Law Offices now.