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Workers compensation for tipped employee

jarrodjcard
April 04, 2013 05:28PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 32

Good afternoon,
I was recently injured on the job and will be unable to return for up to 8 weeks, I work as a waiter and am the sole provider for my girlfriend and our 3 month old son.
When I contacted the workmans compensation office, they informed me my benefits would be determined by my hourly wage and my tips didn't count. They pay 66.66% percent of your wage. I make $3 an hour before tips.
I can not support my family on the $2 an hour ($80 a week) they are claiming I am entitled to. With so much of the local economy dependent upon the service/tourism industry and relying on tips, how can this possibly be?
Can anyone help me?

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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VT2VI
April 04, 2013 05:31PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 275

I know on the mainland they have to go by minimum wage for tip jobs.
Not sure if it applies on island or not.

F-F-F-Freezing in the great white north

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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Bombi
April 04, 2013 05:49PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 1,978

If you actually reported your tips as income you would get 66% of that.

optimist with low expectations on STX

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

jarrodjcard
April 04, 2013 05:53PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 32

I report all of my tips. Every night.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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Bombi
April 04, 2013 06:49PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 1,978

Good, do you have a w-4 for 2012? That gross number would be divided by 52 and 66% of that would be the benefit. When things get better look into AFLAC insurance.

optimist with low expectations on STX

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

jarrodjcard
April 04, 2013 07:08PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 32

Bombi, do you know this from experience or is it part of a VI code/law?

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

STXBob
April 04, 2013 09:15PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,808

Quote
Bombi
Good, do you have a w-4 for 2012? That gross number would be divided by 52 and 66% of that would be the benefit.

I was thinking along those lines. No, I don't know this from experience or law. It's a hunch. But you probably mean W-2.

W-4 is the Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (how much an employee wants an employer to withold from his pay)
W-2 is the Wage and Tax Statement (how much you made and how much was witheld last year)

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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Bombi
April 05, 2013 06:35AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 1,978

From experience of managing 10 employees and breaking my foot at work 3 weeks ago., right W-2 form.

optimist with low expectations on STX

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

jarrodjcard
April 05, 2013 08:29AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 32

You're a manager and you recieve the majority of your wages from tips?

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

OldTart
April 05, 2013 08:46AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,673

I don't have first hand knowledge of the way WC works but your W2 likely shows only your base wage and related deductions so I don't think you have much recourse. You may well file your annual tax returns to include your tips but your past year's returns aren't going to be of any help where their relationship to a current, temporary disability is concerned.

Once you get back on your feet again you should probably do a serious overhaul of your basic finances. It's generally advised that you save up an amount to cover minimum six months living expenses in case of an emergency, being laid off, etc. Your girlfriend could also look into what temporary benefits she may be eligible for through Social Security, WIC, SNAP, etc. Good luck!

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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Bombi
April 05, 2013 09:31AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 1,978

No , property manager. On the W-2 form the first box is income, wages and tips. WC pays 100% of medical expenses up to $75K or 200k for off island specialed treatment. Lost time from work is compensated at 66% of the workers average salary not to exceed the average weekly wage of the VI.

optimist with low expectations on STX

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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Exit Zero
April 05, 2013 09:36AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,496

Your paycheck stub should show your gross pay.
Example:
40 hrs [5 days x 8 hrs @$3.00 hr] = $120.00
Reported Tips [ credit card and cash tips minus payouts] 5 days @ $100 day = $500
Gross Pay - $620 week
Net Pay - $620 minus Fed. withholding, Social Security employee, Medicare employee = Net Pay

Some employers may not include your reported tips because they are required to pay their share of Social Security and Medicare on that amount in your Gross Pay. If this is the case you are then required to pay that separately when you file your income tax [ incidentally that payment must go to the Federal Govt. not the BIR]

But if reported tip income is reflected in your paycheck that should be the amount used for Workmans Comp.
The employee at Workmans Comp. who quoted you the payout rate may have assumed you report tips separately on a form for your taxes at the end of the year, which is not too uncommon, and in that case may be correct, but if you report them weekly and they are recorded on your pay stub as gross pay it should be considered as your weekly income.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

jarrodjcard
April 06, 2013 07:23AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 32

Thanks for your help and advice everyone, @exitzero, where does your knowledge of the system come from. Is there somewhere I could find what you described in writing? I've exhausted every option I can think to look at. Thanks again

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

AandA2VI
April 07, 2013 12:13PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1,101

Just an outside the box suggestion, since your not going to be working could you stay home with the baby and your girlfriend actually fill in your place until your better? The restaurant will need to fill your spot I bet, so maybe could work out with essentially the same income? Once your better another swap? Sorry not a response to original question.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

rmb2830
April 07, 2013 01:21PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 220

your employer has to file quarterly reports on payroll and withholding taxes etc...so there should be a record of what they said they were paying you. The report for Q1 2013 is not due till end of April, but last year's would have been filed end of january 2013.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

ms411
April 07, 2013 08:37PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,090

His girlfriend would have to get a health card in order to work around food.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee
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Exit Zero
April 07, 2013 09:02PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,496

I don't know the Clinic hours on STX for the Food Handlers card but on STT if you drop your stool sample at a private lab at 9am, pick up the letter from them at 12:30pm and go to the clinic for the card you can punch in at a restaurant job by 3pm that afternoon - total cost $45.00.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

blu4u
April 12, 2013 07:11PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 855

Quote
AandA2VI
Just an outside the box suggestion, since your not going to be working could you stay home with the baby and your girlfriend actually fill in your place until your better? The restaurant will need to fill your spot I bet, so maybe could work out with essentially the same income? Once your better another swap? Sorry not a response to original question.

Hum...if the OP is injured and not able to work at his job, he maybe not be able to take of the baby. Child care, when done properly, is pretty labor intensive. I think this is common misconception, "stay at home" moms don't work. I worked (for a paycheck) and took care of two kids. Believe me, the kid part was physcially draining.

Re: Workers compensation for tipped employee

stjohnjulie
April 14, 2013 06:56AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 251

Oh so true blu! I am a stay at home mom AND work 50+ hours outside of the home. The 50+ out of the home is almost like a vacation compared to the mom job :)

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