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North Carolina ruling affects injured workers with multiple jobs

In an age of underemployment, many hard-working people have been forced to maintain more than one job to make ends meet. For those in this position who are injured on the job, losing the ability to work can be devastating. A recent North Carolina workers' compensation ruling may stand to benefit injured workers with multiple jobs.

A North Carolina man injured his foot while working for a manufacturer. Though he was unable to work at this job due to his injury, he was still able to work his other job, which is in the retail sector.

The injured man sought and received workers' compensation from the manufacturer, but was not content with the way his employer determined the level of benefit he would receive. Initially, the employer calculated his benefits for partial disability with considerations for the wages he earned in his other job. He was given two-thirds of the difference between weekly wages from both employers.

The employer rationalized this decision by saying that workers' compensation benefits should be determined by an employee's total income. A North Carolina appeals court disagreed with the company's determination, however. According to the decision, employers can only consider the wages earned at the job where the injury was sustained. In effect, the manufacturer was not allowed to deduct the retail wages from the man's benefit payments.

This case shows how important it is for injured workers to be diligent about receiving the amount of benefits they deserve. Receiving inadequate compensation can mean the difference between keeping up and taking on unnecessary debt just to cover basic expenses. Those who are hurt in the line of employment should take time to understand all of their rights and pursue the benefits they need to focus on their health.

Source: Risk & Insurance, "Comp doesn't include deduction of wages from concurrent employer," Oct. 18, 2012

  • The stress of recovering from a work-related injury or illness can be compounded by the need to make ends meet when you are unable to work. To learn more about how our firm handles this type of issue, please see our Greensboro workers' compensation page.

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