Whether or not you do get paid for holidays while on workers’ compensation depends on your employer’s policy and the terms of your employment contract. An attorney who handles workers’ compensation cases can help you to better understand and take advantage of your rights in this situation.
Holiday Pay Versus Workers’ Compensation
Both workers’ comp and holiday pay involve situations where an employer pays an employee even though the employee is not performing any labor. However, the circumstances under which you can receive these payments are very different.
Conditions for Receiving Holiday Pay
Here are some important facts about holiday pay, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL):
- Most employees are not automatically entitled to holiday pay (only employees working on government contracts may have a right to holiday pay)
- Non-governmental employers can offer as much or as little holiday pay as they see fit
- Employees can renegotiate the terms of their contract for more holiday pay if they want to do so
Conditions for Receiving Workers’ Compensation
By contrast, workers’ compensation is a legal right. As the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) explains, every business with at least one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance for when an employee:
- Suffers an injury while performing their normal, expected job duties
- Files a successful application for workers’ comp benefits
- Needs compensation for medical care, lost income, disability, and other expenses related to the workplace injury
This right extends to part-time, full-time, undocumented, and even remote workers in California. It can also cover employees who were diagnosed with an occupational illness rather than a traditional injury.
Holiday Pay Versus Pay for Holiday Work
It is also important to recognize the difference between “holiday pay” and “pay for holiday work.”The former is money you get paid when you are not working because it is a holiday (e.g., Christmas or Thanksgiving). The latter is money you get paid when you work on a holiday. It is often a larger amount than your regular salary, and you can only get it by performing labor on a recognized holiday.
Getting Paid for Holidays While on Workers’ Compensation
Whether or not you get holiday pay while on workers’ compensation may depend on:
- If you are a member of a union
- The present terms of your employment contract
- How your employer calculates the amount of holiday pay each employee is due
- How soon before the holiday you were injured and off of work
You should not make assumptions about your entitlement to holiday pay one way or the other. Instead, take the time to gather more information from your employer and a workers’ compensation lawyer. Your attorney can:
- Review your employee contract
- Discuss your options with you so you know what you can and cannot do
- Collect evidence to prove that you do qualify to get paid for holidays while on workers’ compensation
- Work with all sides to try to get you the money you deserve
What a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Do for You
Why hire a lawyer to help you get paid for holidays while on workers’ comp? There are several good reasons you should consider seeking out legal advice:
- You have suffered a physical and/or psychiatric injury. It is more difficult to concentrate when you are in pain, on certain types of medication, or trying to recover from an injury.
- Your employer may resist paying holiday pay and/or workers’ comp benefits. They have legal advisors on their side, so hiring one of your own can level the playing field.
- The law can get very complicated. You deserve to have a legal professional on your side who can explain the law to you, advise you on how to proceed, and keep you updated as they work your case.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers
While holiday pay only offers you your regular salary, workers’ compensation covers a great deal more, including:
- A percentage of your usual salary until you can return to work
- Whatever medical treatments your doctor says are necessary for you to recover
- Expenses related to receiving medical treatment, such as the price of gas or of driving on toll roads
- Disability payments, especially if you suffered a permanent injury
- Vocational training or educational courses to prepare you for a new career if your disability prevents you from returning to your old job
If you want holiday pay in addition to your workers’ comp benefits, your employer might try to take that pay out of your benefits. They may or may not have a legal right to do this. Again, an attorney can review your situation and inform you of your rights. If you have not yet filed for workers’ comp, they can help you do that too.
Handling Workers’ Comp and Holiday Pay Disputes
You may feel you are entitled to both holiday pay and workers’ compensation, but your employer might argue against you. If you run into any difficulties, a workers’ comp attorney can deal with it by:
- Collecting evidence—such as your employee contract, your medical records, or your personal testimony—to build up your case and determine how much money you qualify for
- Negotiating with your employer to see if the two sides can come to some agreement
- Objecting to your employer’s decisions by filing an official request for a hearing before a judge—and fighting for you at that hearing
- Dealing with all necessary paperwork so you do not have to worry about filling out forms by yourself or trying to find the correct forms
The last thing you want to do after an injury and before a holiday is get involved in a dispute with your employer. While your workers’ compensation attorney cannot guarantee results, they can fight hard to protect your rights while you take all the time you need to get better.
Get the Workers’ Compensation You Deserve
At KJT Law Group, we want to make sure that every client does get paid for holidays while on workers’ compensation if they are entitled to do so. Call us at (818) 507-8525 today to see how we can help. We charge no attorneys’ fees until after you get your compensation.