A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision from the end of 2013 sets some important rules that apply to something an employer can do to try to reduce the benefits of an injured worker.
An employer can use something called a labor market survey ("LMS") to ask a judge to cut off or decrease the money being paid to an employee who is out of work due to a work-related injury. A labor market survey looks at jobs that are supposedly hiring and that the employee supposedly can do. Based on those jobs, it talks about how much the worker should be earning. If the judge accepts the opinions of the labor market survey, the employee's benefits get cut.
In its decision in Phoenixville Hospital v. W.C.A.B. (Shoap), the Supreme Court noted that the worker does not actually have to be offered a job in order for a judge to cut his or her benefits based on the LMS. However, the jobs in the LMS must actually exist and be hiring; if someone has already been hired for the jobs, they do not count.
The Supreme Court also wrote that the injured worker must be offered the chance to show that the LMS is false. He or she must be given a chance to apply for the jobs. Whether he or she applied for the jobs and what happened when he or she applied are important to a judge who is deciding whether to cut the employee's workers' compensation benefits.
If you receive a labor market survey (a report about jobs you can do), you should do the following:
When we take your case, we don't get paid until you get paid.
When you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, carelessness, disregard or misconduct, you have the right under Pennsylvania law to be compensated. Your rights may include:
Note that your attorney will give you a lot more details about what to do; the above are only broad guidelines.
There are strict time limits in workers' compensation and in Social Security cases, so do not delay.