When you are injured in a compensable, work-related accident, your employer may pay for wages you cannot earn while you are recovering from your injury. Generally, Virginia Code specifies that an average weekly wage is determined by averaging the fifty-two weeks immediately preceding the date of the injury and dividing it by fifty-two.
There are some situations, however, where that does not accurately reflect the injured employee’s wages. What if you received a promotion immediately before your accident? It hardly seems fair to average your new, higher wages in with your lower, pre-promotion wages.
In this situation, an exception has been carved out by a series of Workers Compensation cases. If the employee received a promotion or raise (that is analogous to a promotion), the correct way to determine their average weekly wage is to use their higher, post-promotion earnings. For further reading, go to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website, they have cases on point.