Terminated Employee TTD Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Reinstated
Republished with permission from ReduceYourWorkersComp.com
A law mandating fired employees file workers compensation claims within six months of their termination is unconstitutional, according to an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling in a case involving cumulative trauma. (WCxKit)
According to BusinessInsurance.com, a trial court inPonca Iron & Metal Inc. vs. Jackie Wilkinson originally found that Wilkinson was entitled to medical care and up to one year of temporary total disability benefits starting in August 2006,
Wilkinson was fired in December 2005 from a job that included keyboard use and filing work.
A Workers Compensation Court upheld the trial court's finding, but a Court of Civil Appeals reversed and remanded the case. On remand, the trial court turned down the employer's argument that a six-month statute of limitations applied to the case.
The trial courtstated that the statute of limitations in the law cited by the employer "unreasonably singles out employees who have been terminated and have sustained cumulative trauma injuries.”
The trial court also indicated the law is in direct conflict with a general, two-year statute of limitations for filing cumulative trauma injuries.
Oklahoma's Legislature enacted the law cited by the employer to curtail fired workers from filing retaliatory workers comp claims, court records state.
In ruling on the case recently, the Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed that the state law is unconstitutional. It stated that “the classification of injured employees on the basis of continued vs. terminated employment is a false and deficient classification of the larger class of injured employees due to the fact it creates preference for members in the continued employment group and results in unequal treatment for certain members of the terminated group.” (WCxKit)
The temporary total disability benefits award was sustained.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.comor 860-553-6604.
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