Holiday retail workers in New York face risk of injuries
For retail workers, no time is busier than the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Retailers ramp up seasonal hiring to keep up with consumer demand.
While they may enjoy the extra pay that comes with long hours, employees in the retail sector often work at a frenzied pace, sometimes while sleep-deprived. Workers who are on the front lines dealing with a constant flow of shoppers, packing boxes in warehouses or loading trucks, can face stress unlike any other time of year.
As experienced workers' compensation attorneys in New York, we know that workplace stress can lead to an increased risk of on-the-job injuries in the retail sector. An employee facing increased work demands and longer hours might give less attention to safety. It's in those moments when accidents can happen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, retail workers during the holidays face many levels of stress, from trying to assist impatient customers to managing crowds of shoppers. Stress and fatigue play a role in injuries to seasonal workers, the CDC reports.
After a worker was trampled to death in 2008 when shoppers rushed through the doors to take advantage of Black Friday sales, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created a fact sheet listing recommendations to manage crowds.
The CDC reports that retail employers should understand that stress can have a negative impact on their employees' mental and physical well-being. By planning and preparing, retailers can do their part to reduce anxiety and make sure their employees are supported.
New York City law requires employers to notify workers of scheduling changes
Cities have created scheduling restrictions which help seasonal employees plan. Beginning this holiday season, New York City is requiring retail employers to give their workers a minimum amount of advanced notice of their work schedule. The "predictable scheduling law" went into effect Nov. 26, 2017, according to the National Law Review. It applies to retail businesses that employ 20 or more employees.
If you or a loved one took a job as a seasonal employee, you should also know that you have rights if you are injured on the job. Businesses are required to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage for all employees, including seasonal holiday workers.
Were you or a loved one injured while working a holiday retail job? Contact an experienced New York City workers' compensation attorney with our firm for a free consultation. We have decades of experience helping clients obtain the compensation and benefits they deserve.