What rights does an injured worker have?
With potential layoffs pending on the Waterfront, many injured workers must be asking how they can compete in the open labor market to find new employment to support their families. Finding a job in today’s down economy is hard enough. Add a disabling injury to this economy, and supporting a household is difficult at best.
If you were injured on the job while working for one of the Waterfront Employers prior to July 01, 2012, you have three potential remedies to recover your lost wages, if you are laid off from a light duty position.
First remedy: Request a hearing under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, if you are laid off from a light duty position, you can receive compensation for lost wages from the Employer or its Insurance Company, while you look for a new light duty position in the open labor market. If you are able to find a light duty position, the Employer or its Insurance Company would still owe you the difference between what you were making at the time you were injured, and what you are able to make in your new light duty position.
Second remedy: You may also be entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Under this Federal statute, if the Employer lays you off from a light duty position, it is responsible for paying compensation to you, until it can prove that you are capable of some other light duty position. As under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, the company would still owe you the difference between what you made at your pre-injury job compared to your earnings in the light duty position.
Third remedy: If you are over the age of 50 and laid off from your light duty position, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, depending on multiple factors including your education and work restrictions.
If you are injured on the Waterfront after July 01, 2012, not all of these options would be available to you, depending on the location of your injury and the job you were performing. Montagna Klein Camden, LLP is here to assist you in any of these avenues if you are laid off while performing light duty work on the Waterfront. Please feel free to contact one of our attorneys at 757-622-8100.