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(1) Subject to sub. (2) , if an employee is so permanently disfigured as to occasion potential wage loss due to the disfigurement, the department or the division may allow such sum as the department or the division considers just as compensation for the disfigurement, not exceeding the employee's average annual earnings. In determining the potential for wage loss due to the disfigurement and the sum awarded, the department or the division shall take into account the age, education, training, and previous experience and earnings of the employee, the employee's present occupation and earnings, and likelihood of future suitable occupational change. Consideration for disfigurement allowance is confined to those areas of the body that are exposed in the normal course of employment. The department or the division shall also take into account the appearance of the disfigurement, its location, and the likelihood of its exposure in occupations for which the employee is suited.
(2) If an employee who claims compensation under sub. (1) returns to work for the employer who employed the employee at the time of the injury, or is offered employment with that employer, at the same or a higher wage, the department or the divi
sion may not allow that compensation unless the employee suffers
an actual wage loss due to the disfigurement.
History: 1971 c. 148 ; 1977 c. 195 ; 1987 a. 179 ; 2011 a. 183 ; 2015 a. 55 .
LIRC's allowance of a disfigurement award based on a limp was a reasonable interpretation of this section. Nothing in sub. (1) limits disfigurement to amputations, scars, and burns. County of Dane v. Labor and Industry Review Commission, 2009 WI 9 , 315 Wis. 2d 293 , 759 N.W.2d 571 , 06-2695 .