Student Intern Injured on the job – Does He or She Qualify for Workers Comp?

If the intern is unpaid, it can be more difficult to determine whether or not they qualify to receive workers compensation benefits.

Working at your first job is an exciting experience, and students are often most curious about how things work, what their future career can look like and how they can exercise their skills learned in school. Employers can also benefit from having student interns, although it might disrupt normal activity at first. Young minds often come with great ideas and give the employer the opportunity to exercise their training and management skills.

Students can take internships at a large range of jobs, from office jobs to construction work. That allows them to learn about the trade from the very people who practice it every day. Unfortunately, accidents do happen in any industry, and they are more prone to happen around people who lack experience and know-how.

If an intern gets injured or develops a health condition as a result of the circumstances in the workplace, they might consider filing for workers compensation. If things are quite clear when it comes to regular workers, many employers are unsure of what they must do about their interns if they get hurt on the job.

Intern or Employee?

The first thing to do is to actually determine if that person is indeed qualified as an intern. If the employer does not pay the intern in any way, we can call it an internship. Any payment gives the intern the status of an employee. That means that they will be compensated accordingly, like any other worker there.

Typically, a paid intern is considered to be an employee and is covered by the workers compensation policy. However, if the intern is unpaid, it can be more difficult to determine. Sometimes, even if you aren’t paid, but you can demonstrate that the employer’s requirements and schedule caused your pain, then you might be eligible for workers’ compensation. A St. Louis work injury attorney can help you understand your rights and determine what you should do next.

Intern or Volunteer?

Workers compensation laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to know your state’s regulations and rules. In Missouri, volunteers are not covered by workers compensation, so you might want to make sure that you won’t be considered a volunteer. So what’s the difference between being a volunteer and being an unpaid intern?

Volunteers actually bring a benefit to a company and they can be already trained, while an intern is there to learn and get that benefit for himself, even if it disrupts your activity. For this reason, you cannot replace another employee with an intern, or reduce the workload of an employer by getting the intern to do their job.

When to Contact a St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

If you are working as an intern and have been injured on the job, you likely have many questions concerning your case. If your employer is disputing your claim or if you are unsure of your legal rights for any reason, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann today.

When we take your case, we make recovering benefits for you our priority, and we put decades of experience, a proven record of success and a client-focused approach behind your workers’ compensation case. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 to request a free consultation.

Updated: September 30, 2019