It’s a relatively common occurrence to see people working a second or even third job in today’s world. No matter what industry you’re in, the reality of today’s economy often means that people need to work multiple jobs. For workers with more than one job, there is a host of special considerations to make regarding everything from taxes to workers’ compensation benefits.
After an employee sustains injuries at one of these jobs, the question of workers’ compensation benefits becomes more complicated. When you work a second job, it’s called concurrent employment for the purposes of Nevada’s workers’ compensation laws. If you work more than one job, it’s crucial to understand how concurrent employment can impact your benefits if you are injured on the job. Here’s what you need to know about whether a second job could affect your Nevada workers’ comp benefits.
The Basics of Workers’ Compensation with Two Jobs
Even if you have two jobs, you still have a right to workers’ compensation benefits when you’re hurt at one of your jobs. This consideration is true regardless of whether you can continue to work at one of the jobs or you can’t work at either job.
If you’re able to work at your second job, the total amount of your benefits may be reduced because of that income. If you’re not able to work at either job, you can include the income from your second job in your wage calculation for workers’ compensation payments. It’s important to be honest about your second job when you file your paperwork.
Compensation for Both Jobs
Consider a situation where you have two jobs. You’re hurt while working at job A, and your injuries prevent you from working at both job A and job B. Under Nevada law, you can receive compensation for what you would have made at both jobs.
For example, at job A, you operate heavy machinery. At position B, you’re a bartender. One day, you’re operating a machine when it malfunctions and lacerates your arm. The cut is deep, leaving you unable to work as a bartender for three months. Under Nevada law, you’re allowed to receive compensation for your lost wages from both jobs A and B.
Allowing compensation for lost wages from both jobs puts Nevada in the minority. In most U.S. states, you can receive workers’ compensation for only the wages you would have earned at the job where you got hurt. Nevada is one of a handful of states that allows you to base your average weekly wage on what you would have made working both jobs.
Even though you can include the income from all of your jobs in your average weekly wage, it’s the employer at the job where you got hurt that pays your benefits. All Nevada employers have to have workers’ compensation insurance to pay these claims. While you can use your other jobs to calculate your total wages, those employers have no obligation to pay you anything.
Does the Second Employer Have Any Obligations?
The second employer is allowed to treat the case as though you got hurt at home or anywhere else besides work. If you’re able to work the second job with restrictions, the second employer can choose to allow you to do so.
However, it’s their choice. They don’t have any legal obligations to you. That means if your injury at job A prevents you from performing your full duties at job B, your employer at job B has no obligation to keep you on staff or provide any accommodations.
What If I Can Work at My Second Job?
If you can continue to work at your second job, you can do so while you claim workers’ compensation benefits for the job where you got hurt. In this case, the wages you receive from your second job are deducted from your workers’ compensation benefits.
The work at your second job may create a question of fact about whether you’re able to return to work in a different capacity. However, if you’re able to do modified or light work duties at a lower wage, you may still be able to recover the difference between what you made before and what you can make now with your injuries.
How Can I Protect My Interests?
When you’re making a claim for workers’ compensation, the most important thing to do is be completely honest about your injuries and your employment. If you’re not honest, you may have to return payments that you received inappropriately.
You may also face criminal charges and fines for insurance fraud. These are significant consequences that can result in jail time and other serious penalties. That makes it crucial to report complete and accurate information when you file your claim.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
One of the most important parts about claiming workers’ compensation is the need for documentation from a physician. You need a doctor’s statement that certifies your inability to work and speaks about your specific restrictions. The certification should also state their opinion about whether your restrictions are temporary or permanent.
Keep in mind that your injuries don’t have to be related to an accident. If you’re hurt because of repetitive stress injuries such as tendinitis, you may have a workers’ compensation claim for those injuries. You can also claim compensation if you’re unable to work because of exposure to toxic chemicals.
Working with an Attorney
It’s helpful to have an attorney advocate for you at all stages of a workers’ compensation claim. Despite good intentions, adjusters can make mistakes calculating your weekly wage or determining the extent of your injuries. In other cases, they misapply the law. Whatever the case may be, having an attorney on your side can help you do everything that you can to maximize your compensation.
An experienced Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorney can help you gather evidence to make your case as strong as possible. They can advise you on how the law applies to your circumstances, and ensure that you complete each step correctly to receive maximum compensation. Also, they can review your case to see if there are other remedies available to you under Nevada law.