Firefighters, second jobs and workers compensation

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job, including coverage for lost wages if the injury causes the employee to miss work.

In some industries, such as the fire service, employees commonly have more than one job. Volunteer firefighters may have jobs outside of the Fire Department, and full-time firefighters may also be employed elsewhere. Many firefighters and paramedics work at more than one Fire Department.

Should a firefighter be injured on duty, they may end up missing time from more than one job. It is possible for workers’ compensation to cover the lost wages from all jobs – but Illinois workers’ compensation law has recordkeeping requirements.

Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, lost wages from other jobs can be covered, as long as the employer was aware of these other jobs before the accident.

Fire Departments should evaluate how they document their employees’ other places of employment. Consider adding this to the Fire Department’s policy manual, and conducting periodic audits of this information. Be sure to let employees know that it is their responsibility to provide updates on any alternate employers.