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Seasonal retail employees have workers’ compensation rights

The holiday season is a hectic time for retail workers. You are often working longer and irregular hours in stores with impatient shoppers while trying to meet the needs of the business. Many retailers rely on seasonal workers during this time to manage the additional load.

While working long holiday hours, you risk the possibility of slipping and falling and having items falling on you as you work with a large inventory. If you are taking on a seasonal retail job this year, you have the same rights as a non-seasonal employee when it comes to workplace accidents.

Staying safe this holiday season

To prevent workplace injuries, it is helpful to know what your rights are so you can protect yourself from overwork and subsequent injury.

You are entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted meal break for any shift that exceeds five hours. You should be completely relieved of your duties; if for some reason this is not possible, you are permitted to an “on the job” meal and are legally required be paid for that time.

You have the right to a 10-minute rest period in the middle of each four-hour work period. The rest period should be fully paid by the employer.

If you are a minor or your minor dependent is a seasonal retail worker, your employer cannot make you work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period and cannot make you work for more than 40 hours a week. If they ask you to work a little extra “off the clock,” that’s illegal.

Workers’ compensation in Colorado

In Colorado, an injured worker must report an injury to an employer immediately and follow up with a written notification of the injury within four working days – even if you already told them in person. Your employer is required to notify its insurer within 10 days of the notification.

If the injury is not life or limb threatening, you will be given the choice of two medical doctors, who are designated by your employer, for your care. Unless a claim is denied, medical expenses will be paid and you can go back to work.

This holiday season, stay safe and have fun while working your seasonal job. And if for some reason you are injured, know you have the same rights as any regular part-time or full-time employee.

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