Vacation, PTO, and sick pay are part of your overall compensation package.
Often in a workers compensation case these benefits get used while you’re waiting for your benefits to start. This would be paid at your regular pay rate. In addition, sick pay, vacation pay, and PTO pay are not counted against your 26 weeks of allowable workers compensation benefits. The disability can’t be moved just because you took vacation or sick pay. Employers may also require you to use up to two weeks of PTO prior to receiving workers compensation benefits.
If you use these benefits and are later awarded workers compensation benefits you can have the PTO refunded to you. When that happens they will take a credit on the pay you received. You should consult your attorney before you do this as it can have an impact on the amount of workers compensation benefits you may receive.
You can’t receive vacation or holiday pay on top of your workers compensation benefits unless you’re part of a union whose collective bargaining agreement has, as part of its contract provisions, the ability to credit your vacation pay against your benefits and the ability to collect vacation pay while on workers compensation.
Your employer’s PTO policy matters.
Employers in New Jersey aren’t required to pay vacation time or PTO, but once they set a policy or offer a benefit they have to stick by it.
That means that the way your company’s policy is set up can impact how vacation time interacts with your workers compensation case.
What about going on vacation while you’re on workers compensation benefits?
It’s risky. You need to make sure you’re not violating doctor’s orders. Keep in mind that you may be under surveillance from private investigators intent on proving that you’re not “really” injured. Stay off social media as your posts can be used to paint an inaccurate picture of your situation.
You can visit family members if you want to, but you also need to be able to make all of your doctor’s appointments or to attend hearing dates. It can be a risky and dangerous prospect to go traveling during this time.
Consult with an attorney about your workers compensation case!
Workers compensation cases can get very sticky very fast. An attorney can be very helpful when attempting to decide whether you will jeopardize your case by taking some recovery time out-of-state or when helping to determine how your vacation benefits will interact with your workers compensation case.
Contact our offices today with any questions you may have, and to receive a consultation.