When you start pursuing a workers’ compensation case due to a workplace injury, you may discover that your job title affects your case in unexpected ways. For example, your job title might matter when you seek accommodations or a different job, it might affect your wage loss benefits, and more.
Job Titles and Returning to Work
After recovering from an injury, you might be ready to return to work. But many returning workers can no longer perform their old jobs or need accommodations. Job title may make a difference when employers are transferring injured workers to new jobs, because positions of the same seniority or similar title might not be available. As a result, employers may opt to terminate injured workers’ employment or transfer them to totally unsuitable jobs.
Further, when employers consider workers for alternate positions, the words “manager” or senior” in a title could influence employers not to offer lower-level positions as an option. However, sometimes injured workers may be glad to accept a lower-level position because of work restrictions or permanent disabilities resulting from injuries.
Alternatively, employers may view returning injured workers in a negative light because of their need for accommodations or their physical restrictions. This view could hinder advancement or clout at work, and might be considered retaliation in some cases.
Job Titles and Wage Loss Benefits
Job titles also could affect awards of wage loss benefits. These benefits are intended to compensate workers for wages lost while taking time off work to recover from an injury, or from returning to work at a lower wage rate due to the injury.
When you have a certain job title or position, you might be entitled to a higher wage rate or special benefits that other workers do not receive. Or you might have negotiated a change in salary but not a change in title. This can cause issues when your employer reports your wage rate to the insurance company. Some employers do not include enough information about wages or simply fail to mention certain benefits to insurers. Since insurers do not know about special benefits or negotiated salary increase, they might short workers some wage loss benefits inadvertently. That is why you should check your wage loss benefits paperwork very carefully and talk to the insurer if you see any discrepancies. You also may want the help of a lawyer to ensure you receive all your legally-entitled benefits.
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.