Distance to Available Work Offered to Injured Worker Can Be a Factor Regarding Suitability.
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Distance to available work offered to injured worker can be a factor regarding suitability. Claimant worked as an over-the-road flatbed truck driver. He was injured in 2007 which resulted in a rotator cuff tear. Due to the injury he was given restrictions including limiting the amount he could lift. At the time of the accident, the claimant lived in Grayville, Illinois. After the restrictions were issued, the employer offered the claimant light duty work in Des Moines, Iowa, which was 387 miles away from his home, wife, and children. His employer agreed to provide a motel during the work week, and transportation costs to visit his family every other weekend. The claimant denied the work, and benefits terminated. The question at hearing was whether the offered work was "suitable." On appeal the Commissioner held that due to the distance between his home and work, the offered job was not "suitable," and noted that "being away from the support of your wife and family, especially while recovering from a serious work injury, is not an insignificant matter." On appeal, the Supreme Court agreed with the Commissioner and held that the location of the offered work may be considered when determining the suitability of work.
Contact one of our workers' compensation lawyers at the Klass Law Firm, L.L.P., today to discuss your case and needs. Call 800-613-7989 ext. 242.