Michigan work injury lawyer explains how this change could affect your entitlement to future wage loss benefits under workers comp.
Sometimes a disabled employee will be given the chance to come back to work within his or her restrictions. This is known as “favored work” or “reasonable employment.” The disabled employee must try this work or forfeit future wage loss benefits.
Reasonable employment is defined as “work that is within the employee’s capacity to perform that poses no clear and proximate threat to that employee’s health and safety, and that is within a reasonable distance from that employee’s residence.” MCL 418.301(11)
One issue that has not received much attention is the change to the 100 week rule. This is the provision in the workers comp law that requires an employer to restart benefits if a disabled worker loses his or her job.
100 Week Rule
The old workers comp law required benefits to be restarted if a disabled employee lost his or her job for whatever reason within 100 weeks of a return to work. This protected the disabled employee from being laid off or terminated.
The workers comp law has now been amended and only requires payment of benefits if a job is lost through no fault of the disabled employee. This is a big change and is ripe for employer abuse.
A disabled employee might find themselves without a job or wage loss benefits just because they broke a company rule or policy. Just because a disabled employee was late to work does not mean that they should forfeit their entitlement to future wage loss benefits under workers comp.
Unanswered questions remain
The question of employee fault is not clearly defined in the statute and this issue will most likely need to be litigated in the courts. We expect many disabled employees to find themselves with no job and no wage loss benefits.
If this happens to you, find an experienced work injury lawyer who can help. Your employer and its insurance company are betting that you just go away.
Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our work injury lawyers in Michigan. We will do everything possible to protect your legal rights and will fight to make sure you receive fair compensation for your work injury.
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. Hes been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.