Are Interns Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Missouri?

If you are currently working as an intern, you may wonder: what are my rights as an intern if I am injured on the job?

Internships provide valuable experience for students and young professionals and are commonly undertaken as part of secondary college education or after graduating from degree or training programs.

If you are currently working as an intern, you may wonder: what are my rights as an intern when it comes to workers’ compensation? Whether you’ve been injured on the job as an intern and you need a work injury lawyer in St. Louis, or you are just curious to learn more about the subject, you’re in the right place.

Paid Interns Are Generally Covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are a paid intern, you are generally considered an employee. That means you are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if you’re working as a temporary intern for a summer. 

If you receive wages, room, board, or any other type of compensation, and your employer directly controls your duties and work schedule, you will usually be considered an employee. If you are injured or develop a health condition on the job due to your working environment or an accident, you are fully within your rights to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Unpaid Interns Are Sometimes (but Not Always) Covered by Workers’ Compensation

So, what if you are an intern, but you are not getting paid for your work? Are you considered to be an employee or a volunteer? 

The situation is much less clear-cut for unpaid interns. However, just because you’re not getting paid a wage or other compensation like room and board doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t file for worker’s compensation.

For example, if you are getting “paid” in credits at your university and these credits may be considered as “wages,” and you may qualify for workers’ compensation if you’re injured on the job.

There are other considerations to keep in mind, too. If your employer controls your schedule and duties directly, you may be considered an employee even if you’re not getting paid – and you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job.

However, if you are classified as a “volunteer,” you are generally not considered an employee. If this is the case, you generally will not have any right to workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job. It may be helpful to look at your employment contract before signing up for an unpaid internship to see if you are considered a volunteer. 

Injured as an Intern in Missouri? Contact a Work Injury Attorney Today!

A St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer at The Law Office Of James M. Hoffmann can help you get the compensation you deserve if you’re injured as a paid or unpaid intern in Missouri. 
If you have experienced any injury related to your job duties as an intern, our work injury attorneys are here to help.

Though we have discussed some general guidelines, it is important to understand that it is best to discuss the details of your injury with an experienced attorney because each case is unique. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

Call (314) 361-4300
Updated: March 3, 2021