Teenagers who are excited to gain work experience and earn extra money on the weekends may not realize that they are also at risk of injuries at their jobs. Working minors will need to be trained on how to do their jobs safely, as well as know their rights if they are injured at work. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, minors are given the same rights as all other adult employees who are eligible for benefits—and they may be covered by additional provisions if they were not employed legally.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Protections for Teenage Workers
While all states require minors to be covered by workers’ compensation, many states guarantee protection over and above the standard workers’ compensation benefits given to adults. In Illinois, minors who are injured on the job may be eligible for:
- Medical and wage benefits. All eligible employees have the right to collect payment for medical costs and wage losses associated with an on-the-job injury.
- Disability. If the minor is unable to return to employment as the result of a work injury, he or she may be owed permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Commission may determine eligibility for disability benefits based on the minor’s level of impairment, evidence of disability, occupation, age, and future earning capacity. If a worker suffers a severe injury in early life, disability benefits could offer a significant amount to support him or her permanently.
- Illegal employment compensation. Employees under 16 years of age must have proper work permits and stay within the maximum number of hours worked per week permitted by Illinois child labor laws. Illinois law allows a minor who is injured during illegal employment to collect an additional 50 percent of his or her benefit compensation, as well as the option of suing the employer for damages.
If your child was injured on a weekend or after-school job, our workers’ compensation attorneys can advise you on your next steps at no cost to you. Contact Tapella & Eberspacher today at (217) 394-5885 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.