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How does workers’ compensation apply when you have two jobs?

Anyone who lives in New York knows how expensive it can be. According to Rent Jungle, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is $2,979 a month, which is a 9% increase over last year. Everyday essentials also appear to cost more in the city than elsewhere. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that so many New Yorkers have multiple jobs to make ends meet.

This situation, known as concurrent employment, usually involves one of two possible arrangements:

  • You work for a single company but hold more than one role
  • You have two different jobs with separate employers

These multiple income streams may pay the rent and provide a more flexible work schedule, but they can cause an interesting legal issue when you are injured at one job and unable to work at your other ones.

Can both salaries be included in the payable benefits?

If both of your jobs are covered under the NYS Workers’ Compensation Law, then the payments you receive should be based on both salaries. In the beginning, your benefits will only be based on your earnings from the job where the accident occurred, so you will need to show a judge evidence of concurrent employment, such as pay stubs and tax forms. The judge can then rule that you are concurrently employed and your benefits will be based on the sum of the two incomes.

Will you lose your other job?

The law says that you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits from whichever insurance company covers the workplace where you were injured. This employer cannot dismiss you for filing for workers’ compensation, given that you were injured on their time, but your other employers do not have a similar obligation.

This means that if you cannot fulfill your employment obligations at your other job, the employer can dismiss you without breaking any laws. Although many companies will be understanding under the circumstances and willing to make arrangements such as unpaid leave while you recover, they are not legally obligated to hold your job for you until you are ready to return.

The prospect of losing a necessary job is understandably alarming, which may make you want to continue working as best you can while collecting workers’ compensation for the job where you were injured. While this may be allowed under certain conditions, it is not an automatic right and you could lose your benefits.

If you find yourself in this difficult position, then talk to a New York personal injury attorney with experience in workers’ compensation laws. The process of collecting benefits is difficult enough without considering how it will affect the security of your other jobs, so obtaining the right legal advice is your best option.

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