Every now and then, our Orlando workers comp lawyers get a call from a commission employee. They tell us their claim has either been denied or that their weekly workers comp benefits are wrong. While we’re not surprised, we do work hard to ensure they get the benefits they deserve.
Plenty of Jobs Involve Employees Who Are Paid on Commission Only
With the job market being what it is, there are more people working jobs that are based on commission. Many of these workers don’t have a base salary. Or their base salary is a penny over minimum wage.
It’s important that your commissions be included when your employer calculates your benefit rate. If they simply hand over payroll records to their insurance carrier, there’s a chance that your benefits will be wrong.
When this happens, it’s a good idea to call a worker’s comp attorney in Orlando sooner rather than later.
Most Car Salespeople Work on a Commission Basis
Years ago, it wasn’t unusual for car salespeople and boat salespeople to work strictly on commission. While some companies have changed the way they pay their salespeople, for the most part, many of them are still commission based.
What can complicate matters more is that many salespeople are paid on a commission but can also take a draw. Figuring out what your average weekly wages should be may become a very difficult proposition.
High-End Debt Collectors Are Also Paid Purely on Commission
One profession that a lot of Orlando workers comp lawyers don’t consider is debt collectors. There are thousands of people, especially in Florida, who work in the debt collection industry.
For the collectors who are the best at what they do, it’s not uncommon for them to work on a commission-only basis. They have a certain goal to hit each month and, as long as they meet this goal, they receive a commission on their total collections.
Almost All Real Estate Agents Operate on a Commission Basis
Just like car salespeople and collectors, most realtors work on a commission basis. For every house they sell, they get a certain percentage. Of course, there are some real estate companies that still allow real estate agents to take a draw against future commissions.
These are the cases that can become complicated. Your workers comp attorney in Orlando will have to sort this out with your employer to ensure that your benefits are for the right amount.
Your Orlando Workers Comp Lawyer Will Have to Prove Your Injuries Are Work-Related
Regardless of whether your benefits are for the right amount, your Orlando workers comp lawyer still has to prove you meet the criteria for workers compensation. This means that you need to prove two things.
First, to receive workers comp benefits, your workers comp attorney in Orlando must prove that you suffered a workplace accident. For example, you may be able to prove that you hurt your knee while taking a customer on a test drive.
You also need to be able to show that you were acting within the normal scope of your employment when the injury occurred.
For example, if you were hurt while showing a potential buyer the perimeter of a house, your Orlando workers comp lawyer can demonstrate that you always show the outside of a home first.
What Kind of Injuries Would Salespeople and Realtors Possibly Suffer?
It may seem far-fetched that a salesperson could get hurt on the job. However, they’re at the same risk as many other workers. You don’t have to work in construction to suffer a work-related injury.
Some of the injuries our Orlando workers comp lawyers have seen over the years include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Premises liability accidents
There’s really no limit to the kind of things that can happen to commission workers. As long as their injuries happened on the job, they should receive the same benefits as anyone else.
How Will Your Weekly Benefits Be Calculated?
Your employer is legally required to provide the insurance company with correct payroll information. This is the only way for them to determine how much your benefits should be.
In Florida, as in most other states, you’ll receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages while out on workers’ compensation. The question is – will your employer calculate your wages properly?
This is something your Orlando workers comp lawyer will make sure happens. And, if they aren’t correct, your attorney will demand that they be fixed.
Your Employer Will Have to Determine Your Average Weekly Wages
What your employer will need to do is take your last fifty-two (52) weeks’ worth of wages. Then, they’ll need to divide this number by fifty-two. This will give them your average weekly wages.
Once they send this information to the insurance company, they will take 2/3 of this figure. Whatever this amount is will become your benefit rate.
Obviously, Your Commissions Will Have to Be the Basis for Your Benefit Rate
Obviously, it’s critically important that your employer include your commission when they do these calculations. If they only count your base salary or forget to include all commissions earned, your benefits won’t be for the right amount.
It’s in Your Best Interest to Speak With an Experienced Workers Comp Attorney in Orlando
Anytime a commission employee gets injured on the job, their workers compensation claim can become quite complex. Our workers comp attorneys in Orlando have handled hundreds of cases like this. Sometimes, it’s a matter of their benefits rate being incorrect. Other times, their employer denies their claim outright.
We suggest that you meet with an Orlando workers comp lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace accident. You’re going to need to be able to prove two things. First, you must show that your injuries took place on the job. Second, you’ll have to show that your injuries were suffered while you were acting within the scope of your employment.
An experienced worker’s comp attorney in Orlando can help do this. This will allow you to focus on what’s important – getting better.