September 17, 2014

Does my Child Support Payment Automatically Adjust Downwards if I am Out Under Workers’ Compensation?

contempt of court for past due child supportUnder Georgia law, you are eligible to receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage with a  maximum of $500 per week.  The average weekly wage calculation is just that – an average.   Your employer calculates your average weekly wage by looking at your payroll for the 13 weeks preceding your accident and arrives at an “average weekly wage.”   My experience has been that this calculation is usually correct, although I do look at the numbers.  There is a slightly different calculation if you have not been employed for 13 weeks.

In any case, your average weekly wage will be less than your actual weekly wage, and because you are out with an injury, you will, presumably, not be able to work at any second job or earn overtime.

If you are paying child support, that payment was most likely calculated based on your actual earnings over some period of time.  Now that you are earning less, what happens? [Read more...]

Injuries that Occur on Your Way To or From Work

Georgia law is fairly well settled that an injury you incur while on your way to or from work is not a compensable injury.  The policy behind this rules arises from concerns about the lack of control your employer would have over your comings and goings as well as problems that your employer would have investigating an injury not on its premises.


I recently read about a case in North Carolina, however, that might support a re-evaluation of the “no coverage for ingress or egress from work” rule.  Let me emphasize that this case is not a Georgia case but the facts reflect changes in technology that might expand the notion of going to and from work.  You can learn more about the James A. Hunt v. North Carolina Industrial Commission by clicking on the link.

The North Carolina case arose in 2009 when a middle school principal was shot in the face and hand while driving to work and talking on a cellphone to a school colleague.

The North Carlina Industrial Commission (equivalent to Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation) granted benefits.  The school board appealed but the award was upheld by the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  The Appeals Court noted the following in support of its decision:the principal’s contract required him to be “on call” 24 hours per day

  • at the time he was injured, he was talking on an employer provided cell phone about the employer’s business
  • his employment contract included a travel allowance
  • the principal had previously received threats from teachers he had disciplined and from parents of students he had disciplined

This case is a good example of how creative lawyering can help courts adapt statutes to current technology.  I suspect that when the North Carolina statute was written barring compensation for an employee’s coming and going, cell phones were not widely available.  How many of us “work” in the car making and receiving phone calls and (hopefully as passengers) reading texts.

At the very least, now there is an argument that arriving at work does not necessarily mean setting foot in your company’s work site.