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Workers' compensation rejection issues may be resolved

When workplace accidents cause permanent total disability, California workers may have difficulty in obtaining alternative employment. Obtaining financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance system may also present problems. A 48-year-old worker in another state suffered a workplace injury that left him with a herniated disc that could only be resolved by back surgery. The man who worked as a welder before the injury could no longer do this type of work because he was not allowed to lift more than 40 pounds.

His employer failed to offer him another position that would accommodate his physical limitations. A vocational evaluation found that he was employable and suggested available positions, one of which was with the company in whose employ he suffered the injury. The worker applied for the position, but the company rejected his application.

The worker apparently had a prior felony conviction that was also indicated on his previous job application. Although he was previously employed for four years despite the conviction, this time, the company rejected his application because employing convicted felons was against company policy. The fact that this man's prior conviction did not affect his original employment but caused the rejection of his subsequent job application was questioned.

An administrative judge determined that the worker was permanently disabled and should receive disability benefits. The company appealed, but the state's Workers' Compensation Commission affirmed the court's ruling and concluded that the employer believes the worker is employable, just not with this particular company. California employees whose workers' compensation claims are rejected may find comfort in knowing that an experienced workers' compensation attorney may be able to resolve the issues.

Source: safetynewsalert.com, "Is worker really permanently totally disabled?", Fred Hosier, Jan. 25, 2016

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