Workers' Compensation

Iowa: Employer Not Responsible for Individualized Counseling for Injured Employee’s Spouse







While the employer is required to furnish reasonable services and supplies to treat an injured employee, the plain language of the statute [Iowa Code § 85.27(4)] does not require the employer to pay for individualized counseling services for someone other than the injured employee even where such treatment may benefit the injured employee. The court held the statute limited the employer’s obligation to provide care to “an injured employee.” Here the employee sustained severe injuries and the employer had already provided marital counseling to the employee and his spouse to help them deal with the situation. The counselor contended the spouse needed individualized counseling and that the employee would benefit, at least indirectly, from that counseling. The court indicated that while that might be true, the statute did not require the employer to bear the expense of the counseling.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Hoyt v. Wendling Quarries, 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 144 (Feb. 11, 2015) [2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 144 (Feb. 11, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.02 [94.02]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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