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Georgia teens have a right to workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Whether your teen is seeking a temporary job over the holidays or works part-time throughout the year, it’s important to know that they have the same legal protections when it comes to safety that any other employee has in Georgia. That includes the right to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a work-related injury or illness.

According to Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation, a worker “shall include every person, including minors, working full-time or part-time under a contract of hire, written or implied.”

Why teens can be at greater risk than their older co-workers

Employers often don’t give teens (especially those working part-time or temporarily) the same safety training they provide their adult employees – even though they’re required to do so. Further, teens who are in the workplace for just a few hours a day or only a few days a week may not be as experienced at using the equipment as full-time employees.

Another factor that puts them at risk of injury is that teens are typically happy to take on potentially dangerous tasks that their older co-workers won’t do and are often more likely to brush off an injury rather than report it for fear their boss will cut their hours or fire them (neither of which is a legal action for reporting an injury). It’s not surprising that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers under 25 years old have double the injury rate of older workers.

Talking to your teen about their rights

You might not think of your teen’s workplace as a dangerous one. However, whether they’re working in a restaurant, store (particularly a large warehouse store) or a Christmas tree lot, there are plenty of risks for serious injury.

It’s best to talk to your teen about their workplace rights before they take on a job. If they do suffer an injury that requires medical care and/or time off work, don’t let their employer tell them they don’t qualify for workers’ comp. If they’re having difficulty getting the benefits to which they’re entitled to cover medical care and lost wages, it may be wise to seek legal guidance to help protect their rights.