Dealing With Concurrent Jobs & Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a system that is designed to take care of injured employees if that injury occurs on the job. However, many employees in the current economy work more than one job for multiple reasons. Thus, if someone is injured on the job, they wind up not being able to work at either job – two companies are out a worker, rather than just one. If you are injured, it is important to take steps to ensure you receive the appropriate amount while you are recuperating.
“Covered” Employment & Average Weekly Wage
The first question one must ask when dealing with an injured worker who has two jobs is whether or not both are covered employment in terms of workers’ compensation. Florida workers’ compensation law requires any business that has more than 4 employees (or more than 1, if you are in the construction industry) to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. If both jobs are covered, then both jobs will be factored into calculating the worker’s average weekly wage, which is the measurement by which someone arrives at their weekly workers’ compensation payment (if it is granted by their employer’s insurer).
In order to calculate how much a person receives in workers’ compensation payments, a major component is their average weekly wage (AWW). There are many ways to determine a person’s average weekly wage. However, it is important to keep in mind that Florida law holds that the maximum compensation rate for workers’ compensation will be 100 percent of the statewide AWW, rounded to the nearest dollar – tables are published so that figure is generally easily available. This holds true even if your AWW is higher than that figure.
If Your Job Is Not Covered
If your second job is not covered employment, you may feel panicked, as losing that income can be a huge problem. There is, however, a small silver lining, in that any income that is not counted as part of a person’s average weekly wage is also not counted in the calculation of post-recovery earning potential. Normally, when a person is injured, they will eventually return to work, and as such, a figure has to be arrived at which represents that person’s post-recovery earning potential. If you have two jobs, but only one paycheck is factored in for workers’ compensation purposes, this means that you would likely get both your workers’ compensation benefits and your second paycheck.
It is also important to keep in mind that if one of your jobs does not offer workers’ compensation, then you are not precluded from bringing suit against them if you believe that your injury might have been avoidable. Part of the exchange in which you receive workers’ compensation benefits is waiving your right to sue your employer over injuries sustained on the job. However, if you do not get workers’ compensation from an employer, you retain the right to sue, and it may be a viable option in some situations.
Call A Winter Park Workers’ Compensation Attorney
In this economy, it is an unavoidable fact that many people have to work more than one job just to make ends meet. If you are one of them, and you are injured on the job, it can be terrifying – but all need not be lost. Call the Winter Park workers’ compensation lawyers at the Hornsby Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. We have worked many of these cases and will do our very best to help answer your questions.