Supreme Court Now Requires Injured Workers to Search for Work
The Michigan Supreme Court, in its Stokes v. Chrysler decision, added significant new requirements to the Michigan Workers' Compensation Act. It is now incredibly important that injured workers with restrictions make a good-faith job search.
In Stokes, the Supreme Court redefined workers' compensation "disability." According to the Court, the following analysis will now be used:
- The training and qualifications of an injured worker are assessed.
- The injured worker must prove what jobs in his training and qualifications paid his maximum wage.
- The injured worker must then prove that he is unable to do his maximum-paying jobs due to his work injuries.
- Finally, if the injured worker can perform any job that pays his maximum wage, he must show that he performed a good-faith job search, but could not get work.
- Then, it is the employer's responsibility to prove otherwise. They have the right to request a vocational evaluation.
This standard is much more difficult than what was previously required. At McCroskey Law, we are urging our clients to search for work within their restrictions, and document that search. We also are anticipating an increase in the use of vocational counselors by defendants.
The Supreme Court is making it increasingly difficult for injured workers to receive workers' compensation benefits. If you have any questions about workers' comp, contact McCroskey Law. It is also important that workers' voice their frustration to their state legislators, and at the ballot box this November.