Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Can My Employer Lower My Income After a Work Injury?

Can My Employer Lower My Income After a Work Injury?

By James Hoffmann  Apr. 29, 2019 1:53p

Workers compensation can bring a great deal of financial support for injured workers. The laws in Missouri state that if a worker gets injured or sick on the job, this insurance will cover the costs of their medical treatment and the employer cannot be then sued for negligence.

Even with these laws in place, workers still have reason to worry. A more severe injury can mean the worker will have to miss work for months. The doctor may clear the worker to resume some light duty tasks, either in the former position or another position, depending on what the employer can accommodate. However, the employer may think the new position the worker has doesn’t justify the same amount of pay as for their previous job.

Is It Legal?

The law says your employer has to pay workers compensation benefits that would also cover your lost wages, not just the costs of your medical treatment. If the doctor decides you need to be on bedrest for three months, and only then go back to work, then your employer will pay three months worth of salaries. The employer cannot lower your wage to pay a lower settlement, as that would be against the law.

Moreover, employers cannot lower your wage because of a disability. Instead, they must accommodate your needs. However, that is only if you are still able to perform the essential tasks of your former position. If the disability does not allow you to work in the same position, and your employer offers you a different spot on the team, they may be able to duct your pay arguing the two positions warrant different skill sets, therefore are attributed different wages.

If there is a legitimate reason for the employer’s decision to lower your wages, unfortunately, there may not be much you can do to prevent it. You can, however, apply for temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are generally paid on a weekly basis and should be 66 2/3% of the difference between the average wage you received before the accident and the amount you will earn during your period of disability, according to the Missouri Department of Labor.

In the event that you have any doubts about whether your pay cut was legal, you should reach out to a St. Louis workers compensation attorney and have them take a look at your case. They will be able to see if the deduction was made within the employer’s legal rights or not.

Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE consultation.

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