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Calculating Average Weekly Wage for Injured City of Chicago Workers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Municipal Employees

The City of Chicago is self-insured under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and is responsible for paying disability benefits to city employees injured on the job, such as from a slip and fall accident. Since the City calculates your disability benefits based on your average weekly wage, inaccuracies in determining your average weekly wage can significantly reduce your disability benefits over time. If you are concerned about calculating average weekly wage for injured City of Chicago workers, you should consult a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

Calculating Average Weekly Wage for Injured City of Chicago Workers

Under section 10 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, there are four ways of determining what your average weekly wage is. One way is to look at your actual earnings over the course of the prior 52 weeks. This method assumes you worked for the City of Chicago full time over the last year before the accident. In this method, the period used to determine the average weekly wage will end with the last day of your most recent full pay period prior to your work accident. The actual earnings of the 52 weeks — your hourly wages or salary prior to withholding — are divided by 52. Generally, bonuses or overtime are not part of the average weekly wage, but there are certain employment arrangements in which bonuses or overtime may be included; for instance, mandatory overtime is included.

However, if you lost 5 or more days in the last year before the accident, a different calculation should be used. Your earnings are divided by the number of weeks or parts of the week that you actually worked after the lost time has been deducted. If you were paid your regular wage during time you took off for vacation, it would include those earnings, but the figure usually wouldn’t include bonuses or overtime.

What if you worked less than 52 weeks in the weeks prior to your injury? In that case, your earnings for the remaining portion of the 52 weeks are divided by the number of weeks and parts thereof during which you actually earned wages.

If you worked only for a short time or your employment with the City is casual, it might not be appropriate to calculate in the foregoing ways, and in that case, another method should be used. The City is then supposed to look at the average weekly amount which, during the 52 weeks before the injury, someone in the same grade doing the same job would have earned for each of the prior 52 weeks working the same number of hours each week for the City. If you have questions about how the City of Chicago calculated your average weekly wage, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you review their calculations.

Part Time Employment and Concurrent Employment with City of Chicago

What if you were injured as a part-time employee of the City of Chicago or while working concurrently for the City and another employer? The calculation for a part time worker still involves a dividing of the total earnings by 52 weeks. If you were working concurrently for the City of Chicago and another employer, and the City knew about the concurrent employment before you were injured, your wages from both employers will be treated as if they were earned from the City of Chicago. Conversely if you are injured on the job for a private employer and the private employer knew you also worked for the City of Chicago, the private employer will be responsible for an average weekly wage that factors in both what you earned from it and what you earned from the City.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

Accurately calculating average weekly wage for injured City of Chicago workers requires a full understanding of your employment situation. To determine the maximum workers’ compensation benefit you are entitled to, contact the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to discuss your situation. We represent workers in Chicago, Rockford, Quincy, Champaign, and Aurora, along with Adams, Winnebago, Sangamon, Cook, and Kane Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.