There are a lot of people who work a second job – sometimes, it is something that they enjoy, sometimes it is a necessity to meet the needs of their family. Either way, the income that you bring in from that second job is a part of your regular income. What happens to that income when you get hurt and aren’t able to work?
When you get hurt on the job and are unable to work, you are entitled to get two-thirds of your average weekly wage. You average weekly wage is then one of the things that forms the basis of your settlement at the end of the case. Having all of your wages – including the wages you make at your second gig – included in the average weekly wage calculation can make a huge difference over the life of your case.
Do the wages from your other gig have to included in the average weekly wage calculation? Here’s the answer: they do if your employer was aware that you had a second job and consented to your continued employment outside of the company.
Give you an example: our firm represented a young woman whose main job was that she was a nurse in a hospital. Outside of her regular shifts at the hospital, she picked a few shifts a week as a waitress at a restaurant in order to help pay off some of her student loan debt. Her average weekly wage at the hospital was over $1,000 per week, while she made about $250 per week at the restaurant. She slipped on spilled ice one day while working at the restaurant and hurt her knee requiring surgery. Because the restaurant knew that she worked at the hospital (they had to schedule around her shifts at the hospital), the average weekly wage was based on both job, which over the course of the life of the case made a difference in how much money she received to the tune of $20,000 or more.
Unless you know your rights, the odds are good that the company will not include wages earned outside of your employment with them. Knowledge is power, and you can choose to know your rights and exercise them … or you can trust that someone else will respect your rights. The choice is yours.
We hope that this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who could use this information, please feel free to share it.
We also welcome calls to our office at 312-263-1080. There is no charge for the call and no obligation to hire our firm to represent you.