While an injured worker is out of work under the care of an authorized workers’ compensation physician they are entitled to be paid 70% of average weekly wages if they miss work for more than seven days. There is always a lot of concern and disagreement over the calculation of the average weekly wage. Most workers’ compensation attorneys rely on a calculation where the 26 weeks of wages prior to the accident are averaged and multiplied by 70% to calculate the weekly temporary disability rate. A careful reading of the statute below shows that the 26 week average rate only applied to employees performing piece work, a type of work that is not very common nowadays, not to the average hourly employee.
Therefore it is clear that for hourly employees, the correct way to calculate wage and rate is to determine the customary work week, and the normal rate of pay and multiply to calculate a weekly wage. The above section of the statute seems fairly clear, however there are always important issues that come up in calculating the wage and rate in workers’ compensation cases. The wage and rate effect temporary and permanency weekly payments, For any questions regarding the New Jersey workers’ compensation statute please contact Stark and Stark.