Workers' Compensation

Ohio: Light Duty Worker Entitled to Wage Loss Benefits for Lack of Overtime

In a divided per curiam decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that the state’s Industrial Commission did not abuse its discretion in awarding compensation for working-wage loss attributed to claimant’s lack of overtime earnings while working in light-duty position. The majority held that the record contained evidence that claimant was placed in a light-duty program because of medical restrictions causally related to allowed conditions of her claim. The employer unsuccessfully argued that the extent of diminishment in claimant’s wages had to be causally related to her industrial injury and that here, her lack of overtime was not due to her injury, but rather to a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that prohibited all employees participating in the light-duty program from working overtime hours. Judge O’Donnell dissented, indicating that Ohio Adm. Code 4125–1–01(A)(15) provided that any wage loss "must be the direct result of physical and/or psychiatric restriction(s) caused by the impairment that is causally related to an industrial injury or occupational disease. Judge O’Donnell argued that the administrative rule mandated that wage-loss compensation was not available to an employee who was medically able to work overtime but who was prevented from doing so for nonmedical reasons.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See State ex rel. B.F. Goodrich Co. v. Industrial Comm’n of Ohio, 2016-Ohio–7988, 2016 Ohio LEXIS 2905 (Dec. 6, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 93.01.

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