What your teen needs to know about workplace injuries

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Personal Injury

It won’t be long before teens are out of school for the summer or graduating – and many of them will be entering the workforce for the first time.

Whether it’s just stocking shelves at a grocery store or working for a relative’s lawn service, a teen’s first real job brings a huge sense of independence. However, it’s important to make sure that your teen understands the risks – and their rights.

All workers are entitled to a safe workplace environment

Many teens don’t realize that their employers shouldn’t just throw them into their job duties without sufficient safety training. Far too many employers want the “extra bodies” for the summer rush, but they don’t want to put the time, effort or money into training teens to do their jobs properly and safely.

Make sure that your teen knows the following:

  • They have the right to refuse to do a job that unduly exposes them to danger. This right is a protected act, so if their employer cannot legally discipline or fire them for refusing to put themselves in imminent bodily danger.
  • Almost all workers in Kentucky – including new hires, employees who work for their relatives, part-time help and temporary workers – are considered employees for the purpose of workers’ compensation benefits.
  • When a worker is injured on the job, it’s important to report the injury right away and seek medical treatment (even if their employer suggests that they should try to “walk it off” or wait a day or two to see how they feel).

The vast majority of summer and first-time jobs go smoothly. However, if your teen does suffer a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation can provide much-needed medical coverage and replacement wages. If your teen has questions about their rights or they have trouble getting the benefits they’re due, legal guidance can help.