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Atkinson Gerber Law Office
Injured? Take Action Now!

Can I get workers’ comp in Minnesota if I’m a seasonal worker who needs surgery?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Some jobs are only needed for part of the year. Here in Minnesota, landscapers don’t have much to do in the winter, and snowplow drivers must find something else to do after the snow (eventually) melts in the spring. Then there are jobs that are only available around holidays, like wrapping holiday gifts at department stores in November and December or serving as a lifeguard at a public pool.

Just because a job is seasonal does not mean you don’t work hard or risk serious injury that requires surgery to correct. However, you might have heard that seasonal workers cannot claim workers’ compensation like full-time employees can. But this is not the case.

What is an ’employee’ for Minnesota workers’ comp?

In Minnesota, every employee who suffers an injury or illness arising out of and in the course of their employment is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Nothing in the law says the employee must be hired for an indefinite period or that seasonal employees are exempt. The definition of “employee” for workers’ comp purposes is a person performing services for another for hire, including minors and regardless of immigration status.

How employers try to get out of their legal obligations

Unfortunately, not every seasonal worker is aware of their rights and their employer’s obligations after an injury. And some employers neglect to tell their seasonal staff or outright lie and claim they cannot get workers’ comp. When a seasonal worker reports that they got hurt on the job, their manager might pressure them not to file for workers’ comp or deny their claim on the basis that they aren’t a “real employee.” They often do this because they are concerned their workers’ comp insurance premiums will go up if the insurer has to pay a claim related to an expensive operation.

If you believe you were wrongly denied workers’ compensation on the basis of your employment status, and you need or already underwent surgery related to your injuries, you might need to take legal action. Consulting with an attorney can help you sort out your options.



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