Workers Comp Tip – Should I Use My Vacation Time for a Work Injury?

Jan 11, 2021 | Compensability

If you were forced to take time off work because of a work injury and your employer says, “Just use your vacation time.” Do you have to do that? Does it still count as a wage loss even though you used PTO? We’re here to provide you with the answers.

Should I use my vacation time for a work injury?

In workers comp, it seems like using vacation time is the easiest solution when you need to take time off due to a work injury without having a wage loss. However it is not a vacation, it’s time off due to a work injury, and it still represents a loss to you. When we ask clients if they lost wages during the time they were injured and not able to work, they commonly answer back “No, I didn’t.” only to later tell us that they used their vacation time while they were recovering. Well, that does count as a wage loss. The reason is that if you hadn’t had to use your vacation pay for the medical care, you would have been able to take your vacation to someplace you enjoy to relax and have fun instead of having to use it to recover from a work injury.

We can help recover your lost wages

We want every injured worker in Colorado to understand that if you are injured on the job, you can take vacation pay, you can take sick pay to kind of make ends meet, but that still counts as lost wages and because of that loss, you are entitled to recover two-thirds of those lost wages. Sometimes our clients will ask, “Can an employer force me to take vacation pay?” We haven’t ever had that issue come up, but there might be some employment law issues related to that. In workers’ compensation, there’s nothing against it. However, it ends up costing the employer the same because we still get the employee two-thirds of their lost wages, even though they also got sick time, even though they also got vacation pay.

We’re here to help

The bottom line is if you’re injured on the job in Colorado, please give us a call at (970) 356-9898 or visit our website at, we would love to talk with you during a free consultation session at no cost to you. Kaplan Morrell Attorneys at Law has been helping injured and disabled workers since 1995. It’s what we do.

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