Workers’ compensation time loss dispute 2019
Claimant, a framer, was seriously injured when he fell three stories to the ground while working on a construction project. He was off of work due to his injuries for a substantial amount of time. Under the workers’ compensation laws, claimant was owed wage replacement benefits (time loss benefits) every two weeks while off of work. For workers with irregular wages, time loss benefits are calculated based on what the claimant earned in the year prior to the injury. Claimant was one such worker—his hours and therefore his wages, were irregular. Claimant’s employer provided inaccurate information about how much claimant earned prior to the injury, reducing his time loss payments significantly. Claimant did not have records to support the amount of wages he earned in the prior year. By discrediting Claimant’s employer and eliciting credible testimony from Claimant substantiating his actual earnings, TCNF attorney Sydney Montanaro persuaded the Workers’ Compensation Administrative Law Judge at hearing that Claimant’s time loss rate should be increased by over $450 weekly resulting in an award of over $15,000 in back time loss. The judge also awarded Claimant a 25% penalty–the maximum allowable–for the employer’s bad actions.