Workers Compensation and Short-Term Employment

Michigan lawyer explains how short-term or temporary employees are covered under workers compensation and how to calculate wage loss benefits after an injury.

We frequently see individuals who were hurt on the job within a few days of starting their employment.  These short-term or temporary employees are always concerned about whether they are covered under workers compensation.

It does not matter how long you have worked for an employer to get workers compensation benefits.  You are entitled to wage loss, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation regardless of the length of employment.  You could work less than an hour and still be entitled to benefits so long as you were hurt on-the-job.

Many of these short-term or temporary employees are afraid to report an injury because they think employers will hold it against them. The truth is that your employer can usually find any reason to fire you.  In order to protect your legal right to workers compensation, you should promptly report any injury and make a claim for benefits.

If you are fired for claiming workers compensation benefits, you could have a wrongful termination case against your employer.

Wage loss benefits for short-term employees

Wage loss benefits are paid on a weekly basis and will be based upon your average weekly wage.   The amount you receive will be approximately 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage.

The average weekly wage is normally calculated by taking the highest 39 weeks of the 52 weeks before an injury.  When you have worked for less than 39 weeks, in  a short-term or temporary employment situation, you divide the total number of weeks worked by the total wages earned.

Overtime and fringe benefits should be included in the average weekly wage calculation. Employers and insurance companies will often omit these items hoping that you won’t notice or understand the law.

An example of how the wage loss calculation works

Mr. Smith was injured at work during his second week of employment.  He was hired at a salary of $500.00 per week but because of overtime his first week was paid $800.00.  His average weekly wage would be $800.00 because that is what he actually earned.  Mr. Smith would receive 80% of his after-tax average weekly wage or approximately $473.78 per week.  This income would be tax free.

Stand up for your legal rights.  Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation with one of our experienced workers compensation attorneys. There is no fee unless workers compensation benefits are recovered for you.

Alex Berman is the founder of the law firm. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

FAQs about workers compensation to help protect you

Have your workers compensation benefits been denied or terminated?

Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

 – Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Earls37a.

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