Workers' Comp Law

The Defense View

The Department reaffirms: An employer’s obligation to pay an injured worker’s missed time from work for injury-related medical appointments ends when the employment ends.

In Crowe v. The Fonda Group, Op No. 04-18WC, the injured worker had a compensable cervical/shoulder injury in 2001, which necessitated a fusion in 2015.  Post-surgery, claimant returned to work with a new employer, and she wanted her first employer to pay for her subsequent lost hours stemming from attending various injury-related medical appointments during work hours.   They appropriately declined.   And, in granting them summary judgment, ALJ Phillips confirmed that they had a right to decline payment, as a matter of law.    

There is no reference in the decision to what arguments claimant was making to advance her claim that the first employer remained responsible,  and it is not surprising that whatever the arguments were, they were rejected by ALJ Phillips.  The law is actually quite clear on this.   Rule 4.1400 since August of 2015 has specifically provided that it applies “to an injured worker’s current employer, notwithstanding that the injury occurred while he or she was employed by a prior employer”.   No question in our view that this ruling was the correct one. 

Oliver Abbott