Do You Have More Than One Job?
Let’s face it, New York is expensive and it is not uncommon for many people living in New York to have multiple jobs at the same time.
But what happens if you get hurt at work when you have more than one job? Even worse, what happens if you are hurt while working at your part-time or lower paying job? This is where workers’ compensation claims and benefits get more complicated.
Concurrent Employment in New York
When you are employed in two or more jobs at the same time, you are employed ?concurrently’. What does this mean? It means that you:
- Work for multiple employers, either in full-time or part-time roles
- Do multiple jobs for the same employer
For example, maybe you have an office job during the week but you are not earning enough to pay the bills. This is reality for many New Yorkers who often have a second job in a bar or a store to make extra money at weekend.
An example of the second type of concurrent employment would be if you work as a server in a restaurant on weekdays, but at the weekend you work as a bartender or food runner in the same restaurant.
Concurrent Employment and Workers’ Compensation
If you are hurt while performing your work duties, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation aims to protect workers (like you) when they are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation will provide benefits to cover your:
- Medical bills
- Prescription costs
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Wages you may have lost if you had to miss time off work
You may also be entitled to an award for scheduled loss of use if you injured one of your extremities (for examples, your hands or feet).
By law, your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance to help pay for these costs and you are entitled to make a workers compensation claim (regardless of your immigration status) if you have been injured in the course of your work.
However, things get complicated when you are working in more than one job simultaneously.
Why Your ‘Average Weekly Wage’ Matters
Here is where things gets complicated. If you are injured on the job, it is usually up to the your employers insurance company to help cover your workers’ compensation. This is pretty straightforward if you have one job. You can expect to get about two-thirds of your weekly paycheck if you miss time off work, plus your medical costs.
But what if you work in two different jobs and are hurt while you are working at your part-time job? You make less money at this job and your injury keeps you from working either job.
Are you entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for just the job where you were injured or for both jobs? By default, your weekly wage would be taken as the amount you make at just your part-time job. If you just take home just two-thirds of your part-time earnings this will be a big hit to your paycheck!
Concurrent Employment Workers Compensation Cases Are Complex
As you were working a second job, you cannot expect your main employer to pay workers’ compensation benefits for an injury you picked up at a different job. At the same time, you don’t deserve to be punished for trying to make ends meet.
This is why concurrent workers compensation cases are very complex and you will a lot of proof to show you were employed in two jobs at once.
Fortunately for you, New York has made exceptions for concurrent employment. In New York state, you are entitled to have your average weekly wage calculated from the total combined income from all of your jobs, as long as:
- You can prove you were working those jobs at the time you were injured.
- Your jobs are each covered by the workers’ compensation system.
That means less stress for you if you have been injured and can’t work. See our concurrent employment success story.
Going Before a Judge
Unlike other workers’ compensation cases, concurrent employment cases have to be heard before a judge. Why? Because they are comlicated and you need to show proof that you worked at two jobs at the same time.
What type of proof will help your case?
- Recent paystubs from both jobs
- Letters from both of your employers
- Tax forms that show you were paying taxes for both jobs at the same time
Do I Need A Lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, because these case are complex and need to be heard before a judge, having a lawyer help you will definitely help your case.
Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need legal advice please contact us.