Many businesses throughout North Carolina are hiring part-time employees these days. But often these workers are slotted directly into their positions with little or no training. And that's a big problem. While anyone can suffer on on-the-job injury, new employees and those with little training are far more likely to get injured than experienced workers.
Workers' Compensation Eligibility in North Carolina
For an injured part-time employee, an important question arises: Am I covered by workers' compensation insurance? For almost all part-time workers in North Carolina, the answer is yes.
The North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act requires all employers with three or more employees to provide coverage, whether the employee is full-time, part-time or seasonal. There are some exceptions however. Independent contractors can be excluded from coverage, but the North Carolina Industrial Commission may still find independent contractors to be employees for the purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act based on several factors.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured
A high percentage of part-time employees perform manual labor. Some must work strenuously, particularly stock room assistants, warehouse workers, and cleaners. These conditions increase the potential for on-the-job injuries.
If you suffer an injury while working, do the following:
- Get appropriate medical care as soon as possible, either from an employer-designated medical provider, at an emergency room, or from your own doctor
- Tell the medical provider that your injury was work-related and provide the name of your employer. Make sure to tell the doctor about all your symptoms, even if you don't think they could be related to your accident.
- Report the injury to your employer. If you are unable to do this yourself, a family member, friend or another party can do this for you.
- Within 30 days of the accident, provide written notice to your employer. State the date of the accident and give a brief description of your injury.
- Follow the instructions of your doctor and do not stop medical treatment until your doctor says you can.
If your claim is denied, your benefits prematurely terminated, or you don't think you are getting the medical care you need and the benefits you are entitled to, get legal advice. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can review your situation, and if necessary, take action on your behalf.