While there are certain laws and restrictions protecting Maryland minors (teenagers ages 14 through 17) from performing more dangerous work tasks, accidents still happen. So, the question remains: can minors receive workers’ compensation? The quick answer is yes. And, if you’re a minor who was injured in the workplace, our team of experienced Baltimore workers’ compensation attorneys is ready to help you get the compensation owed to you.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Formerly referred to as workman’s comp, workers’ compensation is a set of laws created to protect both workers and employers. It is a no-fault compensation, meaning that if you are ever hurt at work, you will be compensated for medical bills, part of your lost wages, and potential future permanent injury.
Most employers in Maryland are legally required to pay a premium to specific insurance companies or plans through the Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company (CEIC). The CEIC then handles the claim and payout in the case of a valid workers’ compensation claim.
Types of Workers’ Compensation
There are usually two different kinds of workers’ compensation claims, and as the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) states, there are certain qualifications your workplace injury needs to have for it to be covered. The typical claims are:
Workers diagnosed with an illness, disease, or injury due to the job itself as opposed to one specific incident, such as the following:
- Illness after exposure to something in the workplace (e.g., lung disease after exposure to chemicals)
- Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
This applies to workers who sustain an injury in a sudden, unexpected accident, such as:
- Slips and falls
- Vehicle or machinery accidents
- Crushing injuries
Even if your claim falls into one of the previously mentioned categories, not all injuries are covered, which is why it is so important to have an attorney on your side to help with the confusing details of workers’ compensation cases.
Limitations on Minors in the Workplace
According to the Maryland Department of Labor, there are restrictions on how many hours and what types of jobs minors are legally allowed to work in order to keep them safer in the workplace. All minors are required to have a Maryland Child Work Permit (signed by the minor, parent or guardian, and employer) in order to be employed anywhere within the state. Minors are not permitted to work more than five continuous hours without a thirty-minute break.
Hours of Employment for Minors
Minors aged fourteen to fifteen are legally restricted to the following working hours:
- No more than three hours on a day when school is in session
- No more than eight hours on a day when school is not in session
- No more than eighteen hours in a school week
- No more than forty hours in a week when school is not in session
- May only work between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm, with the exception of summer (June 1 through Labor Day) when they are allowed to work until 9 pm
Minors aged sixteen and seventeen may not have more than twelve hours of combined school and work hours on any day and also must be allowed at least eight consecutive hours of non-work and non-school time during each 24-hour period.
Occupations Federally Forbidden for All Minors
All minors are federally forbidden to work in a variety of occupations that have been declared hazardous by the United States Secretary of Labor. The only exceptions are certain Youth Apprenticeship jobs. Forbidden occupations for minors include, but are not limited to:
- Coal or other types of mining
- Slaughterhouses or meat packing and processing
- Docks or wharves
- Blast furnaces
- Electrical wire installation or repair
- Logging or operation of any kind of mill
- Power-driven machines (woodworking, baking, elevators, metal-forming, etc.)
- Exposure to radioactive substances
- Roofing or excavation
- Distillery where alcoholic beverages are bottled, packed, or processed
- Motor vehicle driver and outside helper
- Any occupation forbidden by any local, state, or federal law
What To Do After a Workplace Accident
In the event of a workplace accident involving a minor, Maryland workers’ compensation laws treat minors the same as adults in these types of cases. However, if the minor does not have a valid work permit or was not legally employed by the company, this can result in the company paying out more on PPD, TTD, or death benefits.
A few things you should do after a workplace accident are:
- Report the accident to your employer as quickly as possible
- Record any evidence of the accident (photographs, video, etc.)
- Seek medical attention
- Hire a lawyer
In the state of Maryland, you have ten days to report an accidental injury in the workplace, which is why it’s vital to hire an experienced lawyer and start the process of your workers’ compensation claim right away.
Help To Receive Your Workers’ Compensation
A workplace accident at any age can be traumatizing and confusing. And if you’re a young teenager, you might be worried that you’re not entitled to compensation or that reporting an accident may hinder your employment. You’re not alone; our office is in your corner.
If you or a minor you know was injured in a workplace accident in Baltimore or the State of Maryland, your attorney will help you navigate through the legal process of filing your workers’ compensation claim and get you the compensation you deserve. Reach out to our team at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC today for your free consultation.