How Does Workman's Comp Work When You Have 2 Jobs?
Having more than one job has become part of people's daily routine, as this helps several people earn the money they need to afford the life they have. However, workplace injuries are more common than we think, and things can get complicated when someone who is in concurrent employment gets one.
Most people don't understand how workers' compensation benefits work in these cases, but it is going to depend on certain aspects of their second job, such as if they can keep working in their multiple jobs or not, or if they're also receiving benefits from it. However, this confusion can be easily solved by a workers' compensation attorney who can follow up on the workers' compensation claim and help find the best possible result.
What Is Concurrent Employment?
Concurrent employment can happen in two ways. The first one is if the injured worker has two jobs from two different companies or employers, and the second is when they have two roles for a single employer. It doesn't matter if they have a full-time or part-time job, as long as there is more than one job it is still considered concurrent employment.
However, independent contractors don't count in these cases. They can be easily identified from employees as they're going to receive a 1099 form for their taxes, while employees always get a W-2 form.
Workers’ Compensation and Concurrent Employment
Having concurrent employment can affect someone's workers' compensation benefits, as they must get compensation for all of their lost wages, which is why the law takes into consideration if they have a second job. However, there are two main circumstances that can happen within this scenario, they may still be able to work in one job or they may be completely unable to work.
Unable to Work
If the injury is extensive enough to prevent the person from working on their two jobs, this is considered by the law and the insurance company, which is meant to pay them based on their total average income, including both of their jobs. However, in order for this to happen, both jobs must have workers' compensation insurance, or they should have a personal one.
However, the insurance company that's going to pay them should be the one from the place they got hurt. That's why it is important to provide evidence of the injury, such as proving a back injury at work.
Able to Work
Nonetheless, if they're still able to work on their second job, this is also going to affect their workers' compensation claim. In these cases, their average weekly wage is going to reduce to the total amount they get from the insurance company, but they're still going to be receiving workers' compensation benefits, such as medical bill coverage and resting time if needed.
Proving causation of work-related injuries can be quite challenging if the worker has two jobs, as they need to prove that they actually got injured at the job they claim they did. Although most times injuries can be easily linked to one of the jobs, such as in broken bones scenarios, in other cases with more repetitive injuries, this can become a lot more difficult. Carpal tunnel is a work-related injury common among those working on computers.
Therefore, this is a perfect moment to call a workers' compensation lawyer in Columbus, as they can help sort out these types of cases and gather the right evidence to prove causation to the guilty party. The best way to do this is by reviewing medical records and any other physical evidence they may encounter in the workplace.
What Obligations Does the Second Employer Have?
This is when it gets a little complicated for the injured worker, because although they're going to receive compensation for both of their jobs, the second employer doesn't have any responsibility, and they're entitled to treat the injury as if it happened at any other place.
Therefore, they're entitled to hire someone else if the worker isn't able to do their job.
Nonetheless, the employer of the primary job can't under any circumstance fire the person.
Moreover, there's always the option to perform minimal duties at their second job to prevent being fired or changing roles to a new position while the injury is healing.
Failing to Report Income
It is extremely important to report the second job or any extra income that the injured workers receive. However, some people hide this information so they don't reduce their workers' compensation benefits. This is completely unacceptable and it's considered insurance fraud.
Most attorneys highly encourage their clients against this, because most insurance companies perform thorough investigations to find out if the workers failed to report income. If they find that the person is working in two or more jobs, they are going to lose all benefits and potentially face legal repercussions.
What Kind of Risks Could Be Faced When Working While Collecting Workers’ Compensation?
The best thing to do in these cases is to be entirely honest and not try to take advantage of the situation. Therefore, anyone who wishes to work while collecting workers' compensation, must always be authorized by the insurance company to do so. This is because they wouldn't want them to prevent them from healing entirely, and doing this could make the worker lose their possible future benefits.
Moreover, if the employer isn't aware of the situation, they may do an investigation and press charges against the worker due to insurance fraud. In the best-case scenario, the insurance company is only going to eliminate certain benefits.
It is important to remember that these fraudulent activities always cause more harm than good, and the employee may end up having to pay much more money than they initially earned. The only situation where the person can work a second job is if this new job is much less physically demanding and fits the workers' capabilities while injured.
Still, the best thing anyone can do is find a lawyer who can help them decide if they should work two jobs while receiving these benefits. They're the best people for understanding and assessing potential risks in tricky situations.
Getting workers comp when having two jobs can be especially tricky, but these cases can become a lot easier with the incredible workers' compensation lawyers from Larrimer & Larrimer, an exceptional law firm with years in the business of finding justice for people who needs it.