Work-related injuries can cause serious problems for victims, not just with their health but also in terms of finances. One of the most frequently asked questions concerning work-related injuries is, "Must you use your vacation time when injured on the job?"
It often seems unfair for a worker to have to use his or her accumulated leave in this situation. Fortunately, workers' compensation benefits allow injured workers to receive compensation for the time they are away from work, which means that they will not need to use their vacation or sick time.
However, many people often find themselves having to use their vacation time when injured on the job to cover mounting expenses.
Larrimer & Larrimer Can Help!
Those who have been injured in a work-related incident, such as suffering from a coccyx injury and wanting to take some time off, may be entitled to receive compensation benefits for the damages they suffered. Larrimer & Larrimer is a reliable law firm in Columbus, Ohio, with over 90 years of experience dealing with work-related injury claims. Contact experienced workers' compensation attorneys in Columbus today to book a free consultation!
Workers' Compensation Benefits
Workers' compensation insurance, sometimes referred to as "workers comp," is a state-mandated scheme that gives payouts to employees who are hurt or handicapped while on the job. According to workers' compensation law, the following expenses can be paid in workers' compensation claims:
The cost of medical treatment
Compensation for permanent disability
Expenses for retraining
Benefits to immediate family members if a worker is killed on the job
However, the amount received from a workers' compensation claim is often not enough to cover their expenses.
Do Victims Have to Use Their Paid Time Off?
Workers who are entitled to workers' comp cannot be forced to use their vacation time instead of receiving workers' compensation benefits. However, most employers allow their employees to use their time off while receiving workers' compensation benefits to bridge the gap between these modest benefits and their normal income.
Employees are encouraged to consult their employee handbooks or chat with human resources staff members to find out whether they have this option. They should also inquire about the amount of vacation and sick time they have accrued and whether they are compelled to use part or all of it.
Reasons Why Workers Use Their Vacation or Sick Time
Below are some of the reasons why workers feel the need to use their vacation time when recovering from a work-related injury.
1. Workers Compensation Benefits Are Often Not Enough
Only a fraction of a worker's usual wages will be covered by workers' compensation. Having a significantly reduced salary for an extended period may cause financial hardship for the injured party and his or her family. Vacation time may help them fill the gap between workers' comp payouts and typical earnings.
This can assist the family in maintaining a standard of life that is comparable to or identical to what they had leading up to the incident. Reducing financial stress resulting from lost revenue can also help victims focus on recovery from their injuries by reducing their emotional burden.
2. Workers Often Receive Leave Payouts Before Workers' Comp.
Victims may be unable to work for many months following a work-related injury and may have to wait before receiving workers' compensation payments. Receiving the first payment may take some time, which often prompts suffers to use their vacation time instead, as they receive payouts much faster.
Cashing in vacation or sick time can help the family make ends meet until the worker can start receiving workers' compensation funds.
Workers' comp claims for individuals who have legitimate and severe injuries are occasionally denied by insurance firms who are concerned about themselves. Additionally, a doctor conducting an independent medical assessment may argue that the victim has not been injured or that their injuries are not as severe as claimed.
3. There Is a Cap on Permanent Disability Benefits
Workers' compensation provides salary substitution in the form of temporary disability for injured workers who are unable to work. However, these benefits are not endless. Temporary disability benefits are limited to 104 weeks, but they may be extended to 208 weeks in the event of certain serious accidents or diseases.
After reaching the maximum claim amount, some wounded workers may just be unable to return to work. In this case, workers can choose to use their paid leave while they heal from a workplace accident.
Some Employers Make a Contribution
Some companies also provide salary continuation on a voluntary basis. This happens when workers are given regular salaries, despite the fact that he or she is not working. Workers' compensation only pays 80 percent of the average weekly earnings after-tax, so this usually results in a higher amount.
The wage continuance that the company provides is credited to insurance providers. However, employees who are disabled are unable to get both pay continuance and workers' compensation benefits.
Similarly, paid sick leave and vacation time can be synchronized. Wage continuance is defined as payment for holiday or sick time that is taken when a worker cannot work. This is allowed even if it comes from a pool of earned time accumulated over a number of years. If a conflict arises, many companies force handicapped staff to use vacation or paid sick leave.
Need Legal Counsel? Contact Larrimer & Larrimer Today!
According to workers' compensation law, employees who have been injured on the job are entitled to certain benefits. However, many injured workers often ask, "Should I also use my vacation time?" The truth is that employees are not forced to use their vacation time, but they often choose to when compensation payments take too long and are too little.
Those who were injured because of someone else's negligence may also be entitled to receive compensation for their damages. Contact Larrimer & Larrimer at (614) 820-1855 today to book a free consultation to discuss the specifics of a work-related injury claim or to find out more about workers' compensation laws. They also help determine how long do one has to sue for work-related injuries.