Plaintiff Ordered to Pay Employer in Rare Workers’ Compensation Ruling
Robert Amsler achieved a successful result for his client in a case in which the Labor & Industrial Relations Commission reversed an award by an administrative law judge and determined that the nursing home employee had to pay temporary total disability benefits after the nursing home fired an employee for post-injury misconduct. The employee, a nurse, injured herself at work and fractured her foot. After filing a workers’ compensation claim, she violated numerous state laws by knowingly failing to secure medication on two occasions and violated policy by dispensing the wrong medications to residents. After the temporary hearing, the judge determined the willful decision of the employee to leave medication unsecured and her failure to abide by a policy that would have prevented the dispensing of the wrong medication to patients did not constitute misconduct. The nursing home had no right to appeal until after a hearing of the entire case. They then appealed to the Labor & Industrial Relations Commission. The commission determined the employee did engage in post-injury misconduct and and deducted the permanent partial disability benefits awarded ($24,353.33) from the temporary total disability amount, ($36,959.18). The commission then ordered the claimant to pay the employer $12,605.85. The matter is subject to appeal for 30 days..