New York State and federal laws include important protections for minor workers. In some ways, workers’ compensation for minors can be applied in the same ways it’s applied to working adults. If a minor is injured at work or develops an occupational disease during the course of employment, medical treatment and a portion of lost wages are covered by workers’ compensation.
There are, however, exceptions in the compensation law for minors 14 years and older that impact benefits. Minors who are working as babysitters or casually employed doing yard work and household chores may not be eligible for benefits. Additionally, working within the confines of their family’s owner-occupied home, or on the premises of a nonprofit or non-commercial organization, as well as those jobs that do not use dangerous machinery, come with important exceptions. These types of jobs, often held by young people, do not require employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage.
If a minor less than 18 years of age is injured while working in violation of certain NYS Labor Laws or Industrial Code Rules prohibiting or regulating the employment of minors, the workers’ compensation law includes penalties and the injured minor’s benefits can result in double the regular award payable to an adult.
Workers’ compensation law also has provisions that create special considerations for workers who were under the age of 25 when they were injured. If the young worker is classified with a permanent partial disability, they may be covered by a concept known as “minor’s wage expectancy.”
There are several important ways that the workers’ compensation law applies differently to minors than adults, so it is valuable to have the advice of an attorney. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Lewis & Lewis are here to help.