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Choose: Create light-duty job or keep paying workers’ comp

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in Compensation and Benefits,Firing,Human Resources

The job market is tough for poorly educated, untrained injured workers. However, unless you want to continue carrying such workers on your workers’ compensation policy rolls, it might be smart to do all you can to find light-duty jobs for them.

Recent case: Kelvin was injured while working as a laborer with Caro­­lina Cabinet. He has no specialized training and no education beyond high school. He was cleared for light-duty work, but the company had no positions available. Kelvin was terminated. The company contested workers’ comp benefits, arguing he could still find some gainful employment.

The court disagreed. It concluded all Kelvin could reasonably do was light-duty unskilled work. Because his employer couldn’t provide it, he was eligible for continued benefits based on the injury. (Thompson v. Carolina Cabinet, No. COA12-202, Court of Appeals of North Carolina, 2012)

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