Are You Covered By Workers' Compensation As A Part-Time Or Seasonal Worker In North Carolina?

Posted on: 18 October 2016

Whether you're working part-time for extra cash or to keep yourself busy and maintaining access to an employee discount during retirement, you may be dismayed to suffer an injury on the job—especially if you suspect you'll need ongoing medical care or treatment for a while and aren't sure you're covered by your employer's workers' compensation policy. Are part-time and seasonal workers entitled to the same protections as full-time employees? Read on to learn more about your ability to qualify for workers' compensation coverage as a part-time or seasonal worker in North Carolina, as well as what you'll need to do to get started on your claim. 

Are part-time workers covered under workers' compensation policies in North Carolina? 

In North Carolina, as in many states, workers' compensation coverage is based on employment status—not the number of hours worked. This means that both part-time and full-time employees should have their medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs of a work-related injury covered by the workers' comp insurance, while independent contractors and non-employees who sometimes have occasion to be on company property aren't covered. 

However, even if you qualify as a covered employee, you'll also need to be able to demonstrate that you were on the job when the injury occurred. In most cases, this will include time spent at work and time traveling to different work locations, but not your ordinary daily commute. In some cases, optional but work-related after-hours events (like networking events or an employer-sponsored cocktail reception) may also be covered. 

What should you do in order to obtain benefits if you've been injured?

After you've suffered an on-the-job injury, it's important to report this accident to your employer and seek treatment as quickly as possible. There are some fairly strict deadlines in place with many workers' comp insurance providers, and failing to report an injury for a few weeks or more could compromise your ability to collect workers' comp benefits to cover your claim. Your employer's human resources officer should be able to guide you through the process, although (because this is really your employer's transaction with the insurer) your employer will do much of the legwork.

If you're dissatisfied with the amount your employer's workers' comp insurer is offering to settle your claim, you may want to consult with an attorney. In some cases, fighting your claim in court may be the best (or only) way to achieve a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries. For more information, visit websites like