In a landmark decision supporting employers, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that unless overtime hours are a required part of employment, they may not be calculated into the average weekly wage for worker’s compensation purposes.
On top of his 1200 regular hours, an Airborn Express driver totalled 538.7 extra hours of work over a 32-week period. His overtime included finishing his own routes and helping on other routes. His seniority granted him his pick of overtime. Under previous worker compensation law, these regular and consistent overtime hours would be calculated into the driver’s average weekly wage. On appeal, the Appellate Court ruled that the overtime hours are to be excluded from the calculation of average weekly wage unless the overtime is mandatory.
All Overtime is Affected
Under this new ruling, everyone’s overtime is affected. However, if overtime is mandatory to your position, it is important to keep track of any extra hours you are required to work. Mandatory overtime may still be calculated as part of your average weekly wages for worker’s compensation. Your extra hours may be considered mandatory if you cannot leave for the day until your job is finished. For example, until the next shift reports to work, most nurses cannot leave their patients for the day. Concrete truck drivers who can’t stop shifts until all concrete is disbursed—or it will harden in the truck—and delivery people who must work overtime to finish all the deliveries on their routes are further examples of mandatory overtime.
Injuries from Treatment Are Covered
Ruling in favor of workers, in Newbold v. S-P LLC, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission made it clear that injuries suffered due to the treatment or rehabilitation of an injury covered by worker’s compensation must also be covered.
Report Work Injuries to a Manager
Finally, failure to provide timely notice to a supervisor or manager following a work-related accident cost an Illinois truck driver his worker’s compensation. Notice of your injury only to a co-worker is not sufficient under the law.
While by law, you have 45 days to report an accident, in reality, it is best to always report any work injury to your supervisor or manager immediately after the incident occurs so the employer cannot deny it happened at work.