State of Ohio ex rel. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, et al., No. 2009-0918 (Ohio 06/08/10).
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that an injured employee's average and full weekly wages should include earnings from both jobs the employee held. The employee was injured at one job so severely that he was prevented from working at the other.
What it means: An employer can be held liable for workers' compensation benefits that include wages from an employee's second job.
Summary: The employee began working part time for the employer. He took a second job that paid a higher wage. The employee was injured at the first job, and the employer set his average weekly wage and full weekly wage based only on his earnings with that employer. The employee moved to have his average and full weekly wages reset on his combined earnings from both jobs. The Ohio Supreme Court held that his average and full weekly wages should include his earnings from both jobs.
The employer argued that including wages from other concurrent jobs discouraged claimants from working at their second job if they are medically able. The court noted that temporary total disability payments are prohibited when the employee is physically capable of working for the employer or another employer.
The employer also argued that it was unfair to force an employer to pay weekly temporary total disability benefits that were more than what the employee earned while working. The employer asked the court to exclude wages from the second job or to limit their exclusion to situations where the two jobs are similar in character. The court stated that if an employee is so severely injured at one job that he is prevented from working at another, it is not unfair to compensate him for the loss.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 7, 2010
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