This year, retailers are expecting to break record sales, seeing a 4.2% increase from last year. That means sales may hit or exceed $730 billion. Retailers will hire extra workers to handle the holiday madness.

Retail corporations have already begun hiring seasonal workers for the holidays. The National Retail Federation expects retailers to hire 530,000 to 590,000 temporary workers to handle the increase in sales starting in November and ending just after Christmas.

Are there drawbacks to being a seasonal employee?

Many seasonal employees have a pleasant experience making some extra money over the holidays, but some do not.

New and inexperienced employees may cause an increase in workers’ compensation claims. Employees with less than one year of service account for one-third of all injury claims.

Most of the injury claims involve repetitive motion:

  • Lifting/carrying
  • Stepping/slipping
  • Bending

Fortunately, repetitive motion injuries are non-fatal and usually do not cause permanent damage. About 25% of those injured were unable to work for 30 days or more.

Repetitive motion injuries may cause damage to muscles, nerves, ligaments, or tendons. Some symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of motion
  • Weakness
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Loss of function

To reduce the risk of injury, employers should provide training for their employees. An employer should ensure safe conditions for all workers.

Employees have rights. Speak with an advocate if you have suffered any of the above symptoms or sustained another workplace injury. There are steps you can take if an employer or the insurance company rejects your claim.