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Are Minors Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

September 27, 2021

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Adolescence is a time for many rites of passage. Their first car, first date, and first job are memories people keep for a lifetime. But for some minors, the memory of their after-school or summer job is something they’d rather forget—especially if they got seriously injured while working.

Whether they work part-time or full-time, minors are covered under Ohio workers’ compensation laws just like nearly every other worker in the state, provided they’re in an eligible position. That means that minors who work as cashiers, lifeguards, and servers can get benefits, but minors who do part-time babysitting or lawn care work may not.

When Are Minors Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Minors may be unable to receive workers’ compensation if they aren’t considered employees of the people, parties, or businesses they do work for and get paid by.

If a minor babysits one or two nights a month and makes less than $160 in a calendar quarter, they’re typically not eligible for benefits. The same is true for a minor who mows other people’s lawns in their neighborhood—especially if they use their own or their parents’ lawnmower to complete the work.

But when minors earn more than $160 in a quarter babysitting for the same family, or when minors do consistent landscaping and household work for a single household, they may be considered employees—and that means the people putting them to work must purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover them.

What Should a Minor Do After an On-the-Job Injury?

When a minor gets hurt at work, they should take the same steps as anyone else to get treatment and seek potential compensation.

First, they should immediately call for help from anyone nearby. If they suffered a serious injury, they should call 911 themselves or have someone else call if they’re unable. Then, they should ensure that their injury is reported to their supervisor, manager, or the owner of the company or property they work for.

Getting medical attention should be the next step, whether it’s at the scene via emergency responders or by arranging alternative transportation to their healthcare provider or a hospital. Finally, they should get in touch with an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer with the help of their parents or legal guardian.

Minors Can Receive More Money through Workers’ Compensation

Minors may be eligible to receive more money than adults working similar positions when they get injured on the job—especially if they suffer a permanent disability. In this case, they may be eligible for the maximum amount of compensation because they haven’t worked enough or earned a high enough wage to cover their expenses for the rest of their lives based on the traditional calculations.

Minors can also be awarded extra money if they were employed illegally or were forced to perform job duties that are supposed to be off-limits to minors when they were injured on the job. That includes violations such as working too many hours in a week, working too late in the evening, working too long of a shift, working in an industry where minors aren’t allowed, or being required to perform potentially dangerous tasks.

We’re Here to Help with Your Child’s Workplace Injury

Workplace injuries can be devastating for anyone, especially minors. Teenagers who have just dipped their toes in the working world shouldn’t have to deal with serious and painful injuries when they’re gaining experience and building their resumes, but it happens to minors all the time throughout Ohio.

When kids get hurt at work, it can affect their education, any sports and extracurricular activities they’re involved in, and even their future earning potential. At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we work hard to ensure injured minors get full workers’ compensation benefits when they’re injured on the job—especially if their injuries happened while child labor laws were being violated.

Contact us today for a free consultation if your child was hurt at work. We want to help your family get the benefits you’re owed.

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