Part-time workers in Illinois have the same worker’s compensation coverage as full-time employees: two-thirds of your lost income, recompense for medical expenses and, if you qualify, for some other expenses as well.
This means that restaurant workers who suffer from repetitive stress injuries can apply for worker’s compensation and get the time they need to heal.
How to file a claim
There are some important deadlines for you to meet:
- You must notify your employer of the injury within 45 days of being injured
- Your employer’s insurance company will review your case and decide whether to approve or deny worker’s compensation payments
- If you are denied worker’s compensation by your employer’s insurance company, you must file a claim with the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission within three years of the injury
Common problems for restaurant workers
Restaurant workers are no strangers to repetitive stress injuries, but because they are often young and working part-time, they might not know that they are eligible for worker’s compensation.
Here are some of the most common repetitive stress injuries in the industry:
Hands: Employees can suffer from tendonitis in the forearm after handling heavy items (trays, dinner plates) at an awkward angle. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs in the wrist after bending your wrist back or down for extreme periods of time.
Shoulders: Overuse can result in tendonitis and bursitis after carrying heavy loads for long periods. Arthritis is also a possibility.
Knees: Slips and falls can result in sprains and muscle tears, while carrying heavy loads and frequent squatting can cause overuse syndrome.
Back: Slips and falls are dangerous for the spine, as is degenerative problems that come with overuse.
Feet: Spending all your time on your feet leads to problems such as fallen arches, plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel and arch) and metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot).