Wage Loss Cases: Job Search, Good Faith (Supreme Court)

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Decisions
(Supreme Court)

Wage Loss: Job Search, Good Faith

Select the case name to read the decision on the Ohio Supreme Court’s web site. For other issues, see our topic index to Ohio workers’ compensation decisions.

Ameen, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (10/22/03)

Injured worker who took a job as a teacher after she could no longer work as a nurse due to her injury did not forfeit right to wage loss by failure to continue to look for higher paying work. Work as teacher was a legitimate use of worker’s education and involved future prospects (such as raises and job security) which justified worker’s decision to take job.

Vote: 6-1
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Harsch, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (9/30/98)

Eligibility for non-working wage loss compensation requires good faith job search. Commission must provide explanation of why it finds job-search not to be in good faith because, absent explanation of reasoning, job search which involved one job search a day appeared to be a good faith job search.

Vote: 4-3
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Honda Transm. Mfg. of Am., Inc., State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (4/24/02)

Wage loss denied where there was no evidence that claimant who was working at much lower paying job than job of injury had conducted a good faith job search.

Vote: 4-3
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Jones, State ex rel. v. Kaiser Found. Hosp. Cleveland (2/3/99)

Injured worker is not entitled to wage loss compensation unless the injured worker provides evidence of good-faith job search.

Vote: 7-0
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Marrero, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (8/18/10)

Commission did not improperly deny wage loss compensation based on failure to perform good faith job search.

Vote: 4-3
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Oldaker, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (6/30/15)

Commission did not abuse its discretion denying wage loss to injured worker who only conducted a brief job search before he accepted a low-paying, entry-level, job without prospects that it would develop into higher paying work, because injured worker had not conducted a good faith job search.

Vote: 7-0
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Rouweyha, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (1/30/02)

Claimant doctor’s failure to provide any information about job or job search supported Commission decision denying wage loss for failure to engage in good faith job search.

Vote: 7-0
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Stafford, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (12/30/98)

Wage loss is not barred just because injured worker has left the employer they were working at when injured. The reason why the injured worker left the employer does not matter, the injured worker is eligible for wage loss compensation as long as the medical limitations caused by the injury prevent the injured worker from doing the job they were doing when injured. Good faith job search is required, but where Commission does not explain why the employee’s job search was not in good faith, the order denying wage loss compensation is invalid.

Vote: 7-0
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Tumbleson, State ex rel v. Eaton Corp. (11/3/99)

Commission can not ignore good faith job contacts, even if some contacts were made in bad faith. Nor can Commission determine that job contacts were made in bad faith just because the job exceeded the injured worker’s physical capabilities. An injured worker may not be able to know what the job requires, or even if there is a job, if making a cold employer contact, and should not be penalized for such contacts.

Vote: 6-1
Opinion by: Per Curiam

Yates, State ex rel. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc. (5/8/02)

In some situations, Commission can require a claimant who is working full time to engage in a job search to be eligible for wage loss.

Vote: 4-0, 2 concur in part and dissent in part
Opinion by: Per Curiam