Can Your Employer Deduct Wages for Your Workers’ Comp Benefits?
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Can Your Employer Deduct Wages for Your Workers’ Comp Benefits?

If you have been injured at work and will soon start receiving benefits, you might wonder if your employer can deduct wages in exchange for your benefits. In most cases the answer is definitely no – but make sure you understand how the benefits work too.

No Wage Deductions in Exchange for Benefits

Your employer cannot reduce your wages because you report a workplace injury or start receiving benefits. It is simply illegal to retaliate against a worker for receiving workers’ compensation, and that includes retaliatory docking of pay.

Sometimes, employers may reduce workers’ rate of pay because they cannot perform the same jobs after serious workplace injuries. An employer may decide to transfer a worker out of a higher-paying managerial position, move an employee to a different location, or reduce a worker’s shifts or overtime. These changes are not always retaliatory. Often they occur in response to doctor’s restrictions, need for accommodations, or unavailability of a job that an injured worker can perform. However, many employees do have concerns when these changes to their employment happen.

If you believe that your employer has reduced your total paycheck, hourly wage, salary, or benefits because you filed for workers’ compensation, you should speak to a lawyer. Many workers’ compensation lawyers offer free consultations, and you can learn more about your rights.

How Wage Loss Benefits Work

Be aware that wage loss benefits are different than your regular paychecks. These workers’ compensation benefits help replace some – but not all – of your lost income because of your injury. For example, you can receive wage loss benefits if you have to take time off work due to the injury, if you come back to work and make less money than before the injury, or even if you cannot return to work permanently.

Wage loss benefits for time off work are generally two-thirds of your average weekly wage before the injury. Your wages may include commissions, some benefits, and overtime pay. If you receive wage loss benefits because you are making less money at your job than you did before the injury, the insurance company will give you the difference between what you used to make and what you make now. If you are having trouble getting wage loss benefits, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer.

Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.