EVEN THOUGH THE INJURED EMPLOYEE WORKED ONLY SPORADICALLY AND AS NEEDED AND WORKED ONLY 16 DAYS IN THE RELEVANT 52 WEEK PERIOD, HIS BENEFITS MUST STILL BE CALCULATED BY MULTIPLYING HIS DAILY WAGE BY 200 (THIRD DEPT).
The Third Department determined the mandated technique for computing lost wages applied even though the employee worked only sporadically as needed. The employee had worked only 16 days during the 52-week period but was entitled to benefits calculated at 200 times his daily wage:
Where, as here, Workers’ Compensation Law § 14 (3) applies, an employee’s annual average earnings must be computed based on “such sum as . . . shall reasonably represent the annual earning capacity of the injured [claimant] in the employment in which he [or she] was working at the time of [his or her] accident [and] consist of not less than two hundred times the average daily wage or salary which he [or she] shall have earned in such employment during the days when so employed.” That total is then divided by 52 weeks to reach the average weekly wage … . “However, the 200 multiple method is properly used to compute the average weekly wage of a part-time or intermittent [claimant] only where there has been a finding that the [claimant] was fully available for the employment at issue, and should not be applied if a claimant has voluntarily limited his or her availability for work”… .
Here, the record establishes that claimant worked for the employer sporadically and on an as-needed basis in the 52-week period before the accident. Although the employer submitted checks that related to additional earnings by claimant during the 52-week period, no evidence was presented to demonstrate that claimant voluntarily limited his availability for work with the employer. Absent such evidence, the Board’s use of the 200 multiplier in determining claimant’s average weekly wage is supported by substantial evidence and will not be disturbed … . “While the result [herein] appears to be contrary to [Workers’ Compensation Law § 15 (6) (a),] which provides that compensation when combined with decreased earnings or earning capacity shall not exceed the wages the employee was receiving at the time of the accident, it is the result reached by using the formula set forth in [Workers’ Compensation Law § 14 (3)] which has been considered a legislative mandate” … . Matter of Bain v New Caps, LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 00369, Third Dept 1-18-18
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW EVEN THOUGH EMPLOYEE WORKED ONLY SPORADICALLY AND AS NEEDED AND WORKED ONLY 16 DAYS IN THE RELEVANT 52 WEEK PERIOD, HIS BENEFITS MUST STILL BE CALCULATED BY MULTIPLYING HIS DAILY WAGE BY 200 (THIRD DEPT))