Recently I gave a seminar on workers’ compensation issues for part-time employees. The number of people forced into part-time work nationwide in the past few years is staggering. Part-time wages can seriously limit the amount of temporary disability benefits and settlement money you can receive if you’re hurt on the job, because workers’ compensation benefits are directly tied to your salary. Unfortunately, most people don’t find this out until after a work related injury.   

Part time employment is on the rise for many reasons – however, Involuntary Part-time employment is at 9 million nationwide. These are people who want to work full time, but their hours have been cut back, or they cannot find full time work. This represents 6.2% of the U.S. workforce and this figure has doubled in the last three years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the figure rose by 943,000 in the two months leading up to the most recent figures released in September 2010. Involuntary part-time employees want to work full time, but are employed less than 35 hours a week.

Employers are shifting more workers to part-time status for a lot of reasons, such as a decrease in available work, preventing wider layoffs and saving on benefits. However you look at it,  it’s putting the squeeze on workers. It is important to know that part-time workers are still entitled to medical treatment, out of work benefits and a permanent disability award if they are injured at work. If you are injured while working part-time, you should consult an attorney to find out what benefits you may be entitled to.