One of the biggest mistakes an attorney can make is to think that they’ve seen it all or heard it all.  I’m heading in to my 24th year of practice and while I’ve heard most of it, I still hear crazy stories every week.  And of course the law is constantly changing from court decisions.

The most recent crazy thing I heard was about an employer who has a worker that is on light duty and can only work six hours a day. Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, he’s entitled to temporary partial disability or TPD.  Those are benefits similar to TTD payments when you can only work a partial day.

This employer told the worker that he wasn’t eligible for TPD because they have a company policy that they only pay TPD if you miss four or more hours a day.  Translated in to plain English, they are saying that they are setting company rules as to which laws they want to follow and which ones they don’t.

This of course is highly illegal and not enforceable.  The only way that they get away with it is if the worker lets them.  It would be no different than them saying you can’t choose your own doctor and they get to pick your physician.  That’s not the law either and they can’t legally do that.

What’s happening with this suburban Chicago employer is a bit extreme, but it’s not unusual for companies to lie to their workers.  They are looking out or themselves, not you.  The most common lie is to tell someone they aren’t eligible for workers comp in Illinois.  Another whopper is when they try to call you an independent contractor when you clearly are not.

All of these lies are why courts exist. It would be nice if everyone just did the right thing and followed the law. I’d have a lot less business, but you know what, I’d be fine with that.  We hear so many aggravating stories of people getting screwed over for no good reason.

The big picture lesson is to never take legal advice from someone who has a competing interest with you.  If you are getting divorced, you shouldn’t listen to your spouse about what the law is.  If your doctor tells you that you don’t have a lawsuit against them, you’d ignore them. And if the insurance company or your boss tells you that you aren’t entitled to benefits, don’t believe it.  Talk to an attorney and find out the truth.  You are welcome to call us for free at any time.