Every state requires that minors will be covered under Workers Compensation, the same as every other employee. In addition, most states will provide the minor with additional workers compensation protection & benefits, over the standard adult employee.
Additional Minor Protections:
Future earning capacity comes into consideration when the minor has a permanent partial disability or permanent total disability as the result of the work comp injury. The employee will typically need to justify how severely the injury will affect future employment, and wage earnings. Even a difference of the smallest amount, adds up when you take into account a 50-year career.
In North Carolina, the future earning capacity of the minor is based on the income of the position the minor would have likely been promoted to as an adult.
Employers who employ minors illegally This would come into play for the 15 year old employee who doesn’t have a work permit, or the minor working more than the total allowed number of weeks (based on employment laws in the state).
Most of the states have special benefit provisions in their workers comp statutes to protect minors who have an on-the-job injury. A guardian may be required for the settlement of permanent partial disability or permanent total disability claims in North Carolina and South Carolina.
South Carolina also requires all settlements with minors to be approved by their state work comp board, industrial commission or court system.
These protections are provided to minors to prevent exploitation. Companies who employ legally have little to fear from a workers comp standpoint.