Let’s say that you work two jobs. Your main job is as a forklift operator, but you also work in a call center answering customer queries for several hours daily at night. You got injured in the warehouse you worked at and injured your back. You reported your injury to your employer, sought medical treatment and began receiving workers’ compensation benefits for covering your lost wages and medical bills as you recover.
Here’s when things can get tricky. Your call center job (your second job) is not exactly physically demanding, so you’re considering keeping your second job to retain your extra income. But is this legal and even allowed? Technically, yes. It may be allowed by your employer and totally legal.
However, depending on your injury, it can be extremely risky if you fail to comply with your doctor’s orders regarding recovery and work restrictions. To avoid this, here are some guidelines to keep in mind.
If you’re receiving workers’ comp payments, you’re legally obligated to report your income, including your income from your second job. Failing to do so may lead you to be charged with workers’ comp fraud and face costly fines and/or imprisonment. Just to be on the safe side, don’t wait until you’re injured to inform your main employer about your second job, just in case you get injured and need workers’ comp benefits.
Once you’ve reported your injury and have been checked by a company-approved doctor, you’ll be given a medical treatment and recovery plan. This will include very specific physical activity restrictions that you and your employer must follow.
Your second job as a call center agent (following the example above) does not violate your physical restrictions. On the other hand, if your second job requires you to perform job duties that violate the restrictions, you could be accused of workers’ comp fraud.
Every workers’ comp case will differ from one case to the next, and the issues discussed above may not apply to your case, so do not consider this as legal advice. If you have any questions about working a second job while receiving workers’ comp benefits and how this could possibly impact your payments, seek legal guidance from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.