23 Weeks Of Overtime Is Sufficient To Be Included In The Average Weekly Wage Calculation

Case Name: Dodd v. Freesen Inc., 11 ILWCLB 27 (Ill.Ind.Comm. 2003).

Ruling: The Illinois Industrial Commission held that the claimant’s overtime was to be included in the average weekly wage calculation.

What it means: Where an employee works 34 weeks in a 52 week period prior to a work injury and earns overtime in 23 of those 34 weeks, he is entitled to have the overtime included at the straight wage rate in his average weekly wage calculation.

Summary: The claimant alleged he suffered a seizure condition, multiple headaches, and dizziness due to a work accident.  The Circuit court of Sangamon County remanded the Commission’s decision awarding benefits for an explanation or documentation as to the average weekly wage calculation. On remand, the Commission explained that during the 52 week period prior the claimant’s accident, he worked 34.6 weeks. In 23 of those weeks he earned overtime. Based on this evidence, the Commission found that the claimant regularly worked overtime and therefore could be included at the straight wage rate in his average weekly wage calculation.

In computing the average weekly wage, the Commission found that the claimant lost more than five calendar days during the 52 weeks prior to his injury, and therefore, according to Section 10 of the WCA, the earnings were to be divided by the “number of weeks and parts thereof remaining after the time lost has been deducted. “ During the 52 week period, claimant worked 34.6 weeks and did not work 17.4 weeks. According to Section 10, the Commission held that the claimant’s earnings, including overtime, were to be divided by 34.6 weeks.