Suitable Work

Do you have a current Workers’ Compensation claim and your employer has offered you work that may not be “suitable work” for your injury? Turning down this work may disqualify you from receiving benefits, however you may be able to still receive benefits if this work is determined to not be “suitable.” In Neal v. Annett Holdings, Inc., the Iowa Supreme Court determined that offering an employee work that was 387 miles away from his residence was not suitable work. 814 N.W.2d 512 (2012). The court noted, “Being away from the support of your wife and family, especially while recovering from a serious work injury, is not an insignificant matter.” Id. At 525. If you have any questions about this or any other Workers’ Compensation issue, please contact Bob or Ashley at 515-987-4578.

Company Outings

With the 4th of July looming, many companies are sponsoring company outings to allow all employees and their families enjoy this holiday. Did you know that if you get hurt at the company outing, a worker’s compensation claim could arise? In Briar Cliff College v. Campolo, the Iowa Supreme Court outlined several factors the court may look at when determining if the injury could be covered by Worker’s Compensation including whether the injury occurred on the premises during a lunch or recreation period as a regular incident of the employment; whether the employer, by expressly or impliedly requiring participation, brings the activity within employment; or the employer derives substantial direct benefit from the activity beyond what is common to all kinds of recreation and social life. Briar Cliff College v. Campolo, 360 N.W.2d 91, 94 (Iowa 1984). To curb this liability, some companies require employees to sign a release before participating in any company-sponsored activity. If you have any questions about this or any other worker’s compensation issue, contact Bob or Ashley at 515-987-4578.

Surveillance

The Iowa Supreme Court released an opinion recently that may have an effect on the hundreds of workers’ compensation cases filed each year in the State of Iowa.  In this opinion, the Iowa Supreme Court clearly stated that surveillance of an employee in anticipation of litigation is work product, meaning that it can be protected from disclosure before any hearing or trial begins but still used during the hearing or trial. This means it does not have to be immediately revealed upon request. If you have been hurt on the job, be aware that you may be under surveillance and what they find could be used against you in your case. If you have questions, please contact Bob or Ashley at 515-987-4578.