Being hurt at work is a huge inconvenience. Some workers might even feel angry or cheated out of pay if they lose work or wages or even have to take time off to see a doctor for work-related injuries.
Additionally, in the State of Florida, it is generally unclear on whether employers can or cannot use your vacation or sick time benefits before they must pay your workers’ compensation benefits. Practices will vary from employer to employer. Visit this site for specific legal guidelines on workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.
However, in most situations, when you are entitled to workers’ compensation, your employer should, and usually will, pay you these benefits instead of using your accrued vacation or sick time. But there are often times conflicts that arise from these situations, which is when it’s time for a knowledgeable West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer to step in and save the day…
Check out how a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with your work injury in Florida.
Minor Injuries and Vacation or Sick Pay
In situations where the employee has only endured a minor injury and will likely be back at work in just a few days, employers are more likely to try to use vacation or sick time instead of paying workers’ compensation benefits.
Generally, this is because it is administratively easier to deal with the claim in this way. In some situations, the employer may not have to involve a case administrator or their insurance company in minor cases like this.
It is actually more beneficial for the employee to use their vacation or sick time in this way as well. This is because workers’ compensation payments only cover a portion of your regular pay—approximately 66 percent of your normal pay.
Your vacation or sick time, on the other hand, will cover all of your hours at your regular rate of pay. That means that using your vacation time or sick pay will actually get you more money for the time you are off. The only real downside is that you will be unable to use the vacation time or sick pay in the future (until these items renew).
Serious Injuries and Vacation or Sick Pay
In situations where your injury is more serious, the employer will probably be much more likely to use workers’ compensation benefits instead of your vacation or sick pay. This is in part because it will be cheaper for them in the long run.
Sometimes your employer will use all of your vacation pay and/or sick time for the first few days after your accident. Then, your payments will switch to workers’ compensation. These first few days cover the mandatory waiting period under Florida law to receive workers’ compensation. Visit this site for some resources on receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.
If you are out of work more than one week, then workers’ compensation benefits will “kick in” at that time. Once you are under workers’ compensation, your employer may be obligated to credit your vacation, sick time, or other paid time off to cover the waiting period. This is, in part, because your workers’ compensation benefits will back date to the date of your injury.
Working it Off with a West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you feel that your employer acted in a manner that is inappropriate for your case, call your West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer to help you work with your employer for work injury in Florida.
You can find out more about the unique relationship between sick pay, vacation, and workers’ compensation by speaking with an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
Visit Sternberg & Associates for help with your work injury in Florida.