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Can I File For Workers’ Compensation If I’m Only Part Time?

Part time workers are an increasingly large part of the American workforce. While some of these workers choose to be employed for less than the average 40 hour work week, others are forced into part time work as the result of a shortage of jobs and the slowly recovering labor market. Workers unable to secure full time positions often work several jobs for different employers in order to make a decent week’s wage and meet their financial obligations. The chance of being involved in an on the job accident or suffering a work related injury is just as great for these employees as it is for their full time counterparts, and their injuries can have the same devastating impacts in terms of both their health and finances.

San Francisco’s Part Time Work Force

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF), roughly 20 percent of part time employees work under 40 hours a week willingly, and family responsibilities, school work, and part time retirement are often cited as the main reason for seeking fewer hours. The other 80 percent of people who work part time would prefer to have full time positions, and often resort to working multiple jobs to make up the hours. Either way, part time workers make up a significant part of the labor force, and perform a variety of important jobs in fields ranging from engineering consultants to retail and food service workers. Despite their part time status, these workers are often just as likely to suffer on the job injuries as their full time counterparts. When they do, they are often entitled by law to the same types of benefits.

Injury Benefits For Part-Time Workers

Under Section 1400 of the California Labor Code, any person who is employed is considered to be an employee of a company provided they have worked for six of the previous 12 months. The Labor Code allows part time workers to be considered as eligible for many of the same types of benefits as the full time counterparts. Part time workers who suffer job related illnesses or injuries are covered under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, which allows paid sick days to accrue beginning 90 days after employment, and for every 30 hours of work, the employee accrues one hour of sick time.

In addition to the Sick Leave Ordinance, part time workers may also entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. According to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, these workers may be eligible to receive the following benefits, regardless of whether they are permanent or temporary employees:

  • Medical benefits covering the cost of emergency care and ongoing treatment;
  • Temporary disability benefits if your injury prevents you from performing your usual type of work;
  • Permanent disability benefits if your injury is severe enough as to last in a permanent disability; and
  • Supplemental job place vouchers, if you are unable to return to your former line of work.

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