The workers’ compensation system was established to provide benefits to workers with work-related injuries. However, some hardworking people will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured at work. For instance, the law does not require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance covering certain licensed real estate brokers. This means these individuals will not qualify for workers’ compensation in the event of an injury. But, what about workers under the age of 18? Can minors receive workers’ compensation or are they one of the excluded groups?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that there are around 200,000 on-the-job injuries involving minors every year. These minors deserve to receive workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries. Fortunately, minors are not one of the groups that are excluded by the workers’ compensation laws in Oklahoma. This means injured workers who are under the age of 18 can apply for and receive workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job injury. Furthermore, minors are compensated for their injuries in the same way as adult workers.
Minors Employed in Violation of the Law
Employers in Oklahoma are not allowed to hire someone who is under the age of 14 since this is the state’s minimum age for employment. But, this doesn’t stop some employers from doing so anyways. These young employees are also entitled to workers’ compensation even though they are too young to be working in the first place. In fact, according to 85A OK Stat § 85A-48, minors who are below the minimum age for employment will be awarded double the amount of workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job injury.
It’s important to note that this statute only applies to workers’ compensation cases where the employer is aware of the minor’s age. For example, let’s say a 13-year-old lies about his age in order to get a job. If he is injured while at work, he will not be awarded double the amount of workers’ compensation benefits. The penalty is not applied in this situation because the employer did not realize they were violating the state’s minimum age for employment law by hiring the employee.
If you have been injured at work, seek legal representation from the team of skilled attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. We help clients of all ages recover the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Call 918-582-2500, toll free (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.