Missed Time From Work – Entitled to Wage Loss?

This issue comes up a lot and in a number of different ways.  There are basically four different variations.

Hourly Worker—No Benefits

You’re paid hourly.  You’re injured and miss work.  You lose money.  If the defendant is at fault you’re entitled to compensation for the time you missed at work.

Hourly Worker or Salaried Worker—Benefits

You’re paid hourly or salaried.  You’re injured and miss work.  You receive benefits from an insurance company or an entity like the Department of Labor and Industries.  Even though you’ve been fully or partially compensated for the time you missed at work you’re still entitled to seek lost compensation from the defendant.

Hourly Worker or Salaried Worker—PTO/Sick Time/Vacation Time

You’re paid hourly or salaried.  You’re injured and miss work.  You use PTO, sick time or vacation time.  Even though you’re not out of pocket any money, you have used valuable commodity that you may not have in the future when you need it.  You and are entitled to seek lost compensation from the defendant.

Salaried Worker—Salary Continues Even Though Work Missed

You’re salaried.  You’re injured and miss work.  Your salary continues.  This is the most challenging scenario and the law is unsettled.  But it’s been our experience Washington courts will allow you to recover compensation for the time that you missed – even though you were paid by your employer – if you can show that the employer was not paying you for work performed (and would not have paid you had you missed work for some reason other than the injuries sustained in the accident).

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