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How does the law protect young workers who are injured on the job? Hi, I’m Bill Turley. I’m a partner with the law firm of Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco. You know, the workforce is full of students who are working part-time and young people in their teens and early 20s who are just starting out in their work careers. Their wages tend to be somewhat low. The workers’ compensation benefits are based on your average weekly wage, but what if a young person gets injured at a low paying job? The workers’ compensation law allows us to take age into account under the concept of wage expectancy. If you have a worker who’s under 25 and he sustains a serious permanent injury, you can take into account what his earnings would have been at age 25. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you have a 19 year old man who’s just starting out in the electrical field. He’s an apprentice. He’s not making top dollar. Let’s say that he
sustains a serious injury and the injury turns out to be permanent. What we would do is we would use the wage of a more experienced electrician at age 25 in that very same field and we would use his wage to determine the benefit rate and it’s what we call wage expectancy. Really it’s just a way of giving a more fair assessment of what the future earnings could be for a young injured worker. But what if you have a college student who’s, you know, studying in a particular field and gets hurt on a waitering job or waitressing job? Well, the law says that you can also take into account that individual’s academic record and career path and vocational skills. Again, that gives a much more fair assessment of what their future earnings will be.
Why am I giving you this information? Because it’s important that young workers know their rights. I want you to call me at 1-877-NY-DBLAW because I have the answers to all the questions you have about workers’ compensation. I’m Bill Turley and thanks for watching.