Just because an injured employee may not be able to return to your organization doesn’t mean he or she will forever affect your workers’ comp rates or self-insured reserves. Employees who are only partially disabled due to an on-the-job injury are required to look for work within their medical restrictions while receiving comp payments.
If you suspect an employee is malingering and not looking for appropriate work, push your attorneys to ask the state Workers’ Compensation Board to investigate. If the employee isn’t job hunting, benefits can be cut.
Recent case: Brenda Peck injured her back working at a nursing home. She collected workers’ comp for her permanent partial disability.
Her former employer didn’t have other jobs she could perform, but it thought she should be looking for work within her medical restrictions.
The state Workers’ Compensation Board agreed and cut off her benefits, saying partially disabled people on workers’ comp must actively look for work or lose their checks. She appealed but lost. (Peck v. James Square Nursing Home, et al., No. 99427, Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 2006)
Tip: For more information about the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, go to www.wcb.state.ny.us.