Millennials and Workers' Compensation in Pennsylvania

The first Millennials will turn forty this year. Yes, forty!

Are you between the ages of 24 and 40?

If so, you are a Millennial, otherwise known as Generation Y or Gen Y. You are part of the largest generation in the United States workforce. 

Millennials came of age and entered the workforce in 2008, facing the height of an economic recession. According to numerous research studies, it is generally understood that Gen Y has different workplace values than past generations. 

A workplace injury for Millennials, as with most people, can be concerning. No one wants to be injured, incur medical treatment & medical bills, and possibly uncertainty about the future depending on their injury. A work-place injury can be scary and can result in lost work, lost wages, regular bills mounting along with debt from medical bills. Dugan & Associates understands how a workplace injury impacts Millennials, and we are here to help.

Millennial Workers & Workplace Injuries

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Security, workers ages 21 to 39 years in Pennsylvania experienced 71,969 work-related injuries in 2019 alone. Employees 25 to 29 years of age were responsible for 21,282 of those cases, the greatest number of injuries for not only Millennials but out of all age groups.

Particularly at-risk fields for Millennial workers include Education & Health Services, Manufacturing, and Trade, Transportation, & Utilities. Example professions from these fields include paraeducators, EMTs, RNs, machinists, warehouse workers and more. Millennials may also balance a variety of responsibilities in their personal lives, such as school and caring for children or aging parents.

Work Trends and Workers’ Compensation

Many Millennials gravitated towards the flexibility and freedom afforded by “gig economy” jobs such as Uber and Lyft drivers. While these jobs allow workers to set their own schedules and hours, they also commonly classify their workers as independent contractors. This distinction can be crucial if you are injured while on the job. When working for a company, employees are provided with health benefits and workers’ compensation rights.

However, as an independent contractor, if you are injured on the job it is likely you will not be covered under your company’s worker's compensation policy. In order to be covered under your company’s workers' compensation policy, you must demonstrate an employer-employee relationship, taking into account who has the right to control the work you perform and the manner of performance.

The distinction of independent contractor versus employee is particularly important for workers who are injured and seeking workers' compensation benefits. Like Uber and Lyft drivers, who are continually on the road and at higher risk of a car accident. Generally, such drivers are classified as independent contractors and if such a driver is injured while working, they may not be eligible for benefits under the company’s workers’ compensation policy. Other insurance policies, such as one's general health insurance and/or automobile insurance, depending on the policies in effect at the time of the injury.

Additionally, for the past few years, many including Millennials, have elected (or since COVID-19 been required) to work remotely. However, if you are injured at home, a workers’ compensation claim can become complicated. You will need to show that you suffered an injury, in the course of your employment and that the injury was related thereto in order to have a chance to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation claims can be lengthy and complicated.

If you or a loved one has experienced a workplace injury, Dugan & Associates worker’s compensation lawyers will guide you through the claims process, working to pursue fair and just compensation for loss of earnings, damages, and medical expenses. Click to contact us or call us at 412-353-3572. We will work hard for you, pursuing fair and just compensation and getting you the treatment you or your loved one deserve.

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