Many people work part-time jobs, in addition to their full-time jobs. How much workers’ compensation can the employee get if they are injured at their part-time job?
An employee who suffers permanent disability on a job can get benefits based on the percentage of disability and 70 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage. In certain circumstances, New Jersey law reconstructs a part-time employee’s wages to a full-time wage to determine the employee’s permanent disability award.
In a recent a decision released on June 26, 2019, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey dealt with the reconstruction of a part-time worker’s wages. The woman worked part time at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) as a stadium usher and worked full time stocking shelves at a Walmart store. She suffered an injury at her part-time job.
She returned to Walmart with medical restrictions limiting her to part-time work. Walmart did not have a permanent position, and the woman refused a part-time position. The woman and NJSEA settled the claim for 33.33 percent permanent disability. A workers’ compensation court denied her application to reconstruct her wages. With reconstruction, the woman’s award would have been $72,200; without reconstruction, the award was $14,469.
The Appellate Division upheld the denial of the reconstruction of wages. The enhanced award is intended to compensate the injured part-time employee for the loss of earning capacity. NJSEA’s doctor testified that the woman could work full time without restrictions. The woman received unemployment benefits based on her certification that she was ready, willing and able to return to full-time work. She participated in physical activities, like swimming, walking a mile a day, and performing lawn care.
If you suffer an on-the-job injury while working at a part-time job, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer at Petrillo and Goldberg at 856.249.9295 or visit https://www.petrilloandgoldberg.com to learn more.