In a previous post, we mentioned that an employer’s failure to pay a worker the wages to which the worker is entitled can cause problems when the worker is injured and subsequently seeks out workers’ compensation benefits for total temporary disability. As we noted, injured workers are usually entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly wage over the 52 weeks preceding the injury.
What, though, if the worker has not been receiving the wages he or she should have been receiving? It could lead to a dispute over how much workers’ compensation the injured worker is entitled to receive. In such a case, it may be necessary to work with an experienced attorney not only to address the wage violation itself, but also the repercussions of the wage violation on workers’ compensation payments.
Wage violations can occur in a variety of ways, including delaying and then failing to pay the worker, underpaying the worker his or her ordinary wage, failing to pay overtime wages, and failure to pay the worker for off-the-clock work. Another possible way an employer might have failed to pay an injured worker what he or she was due in wages is employee misclassification.
If an injured worker discovers that his or her employment status is incorrect, it is important to address the issue, not only to ensure he or she receives the wages to which he or she is entitled, but also to ensure proper workers’ compensation is received. An experienced attorney can help make sure the worker has the strongest possible representation in the process.