When you are paid on commission, you may wonder what kind of workers’ compensation wage loss benefits you can expect. Getting injured often means time off from work, which is time not selling products or earning commissions.
How Are Benefits Calculated for Non-Commission Employees?
Most workers will receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage at the time of their injury. Some hourly workers have varying wages – if, for example, they work a lot of overtime in certain months but none in others.
Wage loss benefits are supposed to compensate injured workers for time off work due to their injuries and loss of earning capacity. Insurance companies do not always factor in varying wages in their calculations. Workers have to challenge the average weekly wage calculations to receive enough in benefits. The same is true for workers paid on commission.
How Are Benefits Calculated for Employees on Commission?
Commission income must be considered in calculating your average weekly wage. (See Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 8a, 18.) Many workers paid on commission earn either (1) entirely commissions at a fixed rate, or (2) a guaranteed flat salary plus any commissions earned over the salary amount. Depending on the way you are paid, the insurance company may use a different method in calculating your benefits.
Ideally, the insurance company would follow Minnesota law saying that wages in the last 26 weeks can be considered. The calculation is done by taking the total wages you earned in the last 26 weeks before the injury and dividing it by the total weeks, days, or hours you worked during that period. The total is your weekly, daily, or hourly wage. Courts have used the daily wage to compute benefits by multiplying it by a 40-hour workweek.
How Do You Get the Benefits You Deserve?
To get appropriate benefits if you are paid on commission, you must carefully check the wage loss benefit amount the insurance company gives you. The insurance company will take any opportunity to reduce your benefits if it has an argument to do so. Talk to a lawyer about properly computing your average weekly wage and how to contest the insurance company’s calculation.
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.