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What Happens When an Agency Employee is Injured at Work?

March 2, 2023 | Personal Injury,Uncategorized,Workers' Compensation,Workplace Safety

Temporary agency work is a good way to try out work in different fields, accommodate a specific schedule, and fill the gap between long-term jobs. However, temporary work also comes with challenges. There are often questions about an assignment’s longevity, safety, and work environment. Many temp workers also hit roadblocks when they are injured on the job. In some cases, the temporary assignment will point them back to the temp agency, who points them back to the temporary employer. This leaves the injured employee unsure of what their rights are and what they should do next.

If you’ve been injured at work and you’re wondering what your next step is, let’s talk. The team at Pisegna & Zimmerman is Zoom-ready, so you don’t even have to leave home for your consultation. We also handle all of our documents over DocuSign, allowing us to do everything remotely. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 818-888-8888.

Temporary Agency Workers Are At Greater Risk of Injury

 It’s crucial that you, as an agency worker, know what you should do if you are injured on the job. Research indicates that temp workers are more likely to be injured at work than permanent workers. While this trend persists across many industries, it’s more significant in some, including extraction, agriculture, and construction. The most common injuries include contact with equipment and exposure to dangerous chemicals.

This is why many states, including California, have strict regulations for temporary employment agencies and the employers they serve. As a temp employee, you should know your rights, what to do if you are injured, and how you can tap into the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Who is Responsible for Temp Workers?

 The crux of this issue is who is responsible for temporary agency workers. Ideally, everyone involved in these agreements knows exactly what the expectations are. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for both the temp agency and the host employer to think that the other party is responsible. An employee shouldn’t be forced to do additional labor when they’re injured, but too often, they have to advocate for themselves.

Under California Labor Code 2810.3, client employers—companies that use temporary agencies—are just as responsible for employees as temporary work agencies are. In the past, only the work agencies were responsible for these expenses.

What California Law Says About Coverage for Temporary Workers

 The state of California is known for its strong stance on workers’ rights, which is why temporary workers must be protected by both their primary employer and their host employer. Per Cal/OSHA, primary employers generally pay the employee and handle workers’ compensation claims. However, 2810.3 stipulates that the host employer must share this liability with the temp agency. In most cases, temporary agencies and host employers will have written contracts that outline who handles workers’ compensation claims and what protocols are used should an agency employee be injured.

Of course, there are exceptions, as is the case with most employment laws. For example, business entities with fewer than 25 workers are exempt from this law.  If you take agency work,  it’s recommended that you talk to your point of contact about what to do should issues arise with your pay, scheduled hours, or workplace safety.

Your Next Steps

 After an injury, make sure you report it right away. As a temp employee, you should report it both to your agency and to your temporary work site. However, Cal/OSHA only requires one workplace to maintain a log of injuries. Both employers are expected to report serious injuries and safety issues to Cal/OSHA.

Ensure that you are able to start your workers’ compensation claim right away. If either employer seems unsure about what you should do or who is responsible for ensuring that you get paid, you may want to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. Some employers count on employees not knowing their rights as a way to decrease workers’ compensation claims.

Get the Support You Deserve With Pisegna & Zimmerman

 Whether you’ve been encouraged not to file a workers’ compensation claim or you have two employers refusing to take responsibility for your injury, it’s time to talk to Pisegna & Zimmerman. With our Zoom-ready team and DocuSign document handling, we make it easy to start your case wherever you are. Call our Southern California team at 818-888-8888 or send us a message online to get started.