Normally the adjuster determines how much you made in each of the 52 weeks preceding the date of injury. This includes bonuses, per diems, etc. If you missed more than a week we exclude that period of time from the calculation. If you didn’t work there a full year we look at only the period you were there. If that period is extremely short, like a few days or a couple of weeks, we look at a comparable employee. That’s always interesting. It’s amazing how often we get a new client who was hired making $15.00 an hour but when the employer sends over the pay data of the “comparable employee” it is someone who was making $13.50 and refused every opportunity for overtime. If you’re a recent hire by all means give us a call and let us talk this through with you.
On a semi-related topic, if you work a lot of overtime there’s a great likelihood that you are going to be underpaid. When the adjuster asks your employer how much you made a lot of times the employer simply gives your 40-hour work rate. It’s not that they are intentionally cheating you (although sometimes they are) but that they aren’t volunteering information. And the adjuster will not often go out of her way to find a reason to pay you more money.