Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, if you are injured on the job and unable to work per your doctor, you are entitled to be compensated for your time off. This is called temporary total disability benefits or TTD and should be 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
So if you tear your ACL on the job and make $900.00 a week, you should received $600.00 tax free per week until you are back at work or they have work for you within the restrictions your doctor gives you. This sounds pretty straight forward, right?
It should be, but unfortunately some companies don’t follow the law. We see a lot of cases where an injured worker gets hurt on the job and they will obviously be off for a couple of months. While the company is taking their time to report the accident, they take the two weeks of vacation pay you are owed and tell you that the first two weeks will be paid that way.
The problem is that this is illegal. You don’t have to use PTO, vacation pay or whatever it’s called. The insurance company doesn’t get to take their sweet time before they start issuing you a check to compensate you for your time off work. As a famous commercial says, that’s not how any of this works.
I’ve seen some cases where workers had banked more than two months of vacation time and were forced to use it.
The good news is that assuming you can prove you were hurt on the job, it’s not hard for us to get the vacation time reinstated. Essentially we make it so the work comp insurance company reimburses your employer and your time off benefits are reinstated.
Some companies do this innocently, others do it kind of maliciously. The idea of someone getting hurt on their job and being paid while they get better somehow offends them. Unfortunately for them, that’s not what the law is and they can’t decide to take away rights you have earned. And they can’t violate Illinois work comp law, at least not unless you let them.
You should be allowed to focus on nothing other than getting better so you can get back to work. These kinds of stressors can make an injury worse and delay your recovery. A good attorney can take those worries off your shoulder and help solve that problem. And in almost every case it costs you nothing to make that happen.
If you’d like to speak with a lawyer for free to see what options you have, contact us any time at 312-346-5320.