Comp doesn't include deduction of wages from concurrent employer
Tunell v. Resource MFG/Prologistix, No. COA12-103 (N.C. Ct. App. 08/07/12).
Ruling: The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that an employer could not deduct wages the worker earned from a concurrent employer in calculating his temporary partial disability benefits.
What it means: In North Carolina, an employer cannot deduct wages earned by a concurrent employer in calculating partial disability benefits.
A worker sustained a compensable injury to his foot while working for a manufacturer. On the date of his injury, he was also employed by a retailer. After the injury, he did not return to work for the manufacturer but he did return to work at the retailer. The worker sought workers' compensation benefits from the manufacturer. He was awarded temporary partial disability compensation at the rate of two-thirds the difference between his average weekly wage at the time of his injury and the average weekly wages he earned after the injury while working for the retailer. The worker disagreed with the method used to calculate his benefits. In a case of first impression, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the manufacturer could not deduct the wages the worker earned from the retailer in calculating his benefits.
The court explained that in computing compensation for a worker who worked two separate jobs at the time of the injury, his average weekly wages are determined only from the earnings of the employment in which he was injured. The court rejected the manufacturer's argument that all of a worker's wages should be included in computing partial disability. The court said that an employer could not deduct wages earned from concurrent employment in calculating partial disability compensation.
The court explained that its approach was fair to a worker because it excluded from the determination of postinjury AWW earnings that were excluded from the determination of preinjury AWW. The approach was fair to an employer because it did not require the payment of compensation based on earnings from concurrent employment.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 18, 2012
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