Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What geographic area should Labor Market Surveys be conducted?

In the recent case of Rebecor v. W.C.A.B. (Eckerd), the Commonwealth Court ruled on where a labor market survey must be completed. A labor market survey is where the workers' compensation insurance carrier hires a vocational specialist to do a job search for the injured worker. Once the search find jobs for the claimant in the general geographic area that is vocationally appropriate for the claimant as well as physical appropriate, the carrier will attempt to modify the claimant's benefits based upon the assumed wages of those jobs.

However, under labor market surveys, the jobs don't actually have to be offered to the claimant. The jobs are mere examples of the work available to the claimant in the general job market that the injured worker COULD be performing.

But what happens when the injured worker moves away from the area where the injury took place? What about another state? In this case, the Court held that the labor market survey must be done in the area where the work injury happened, and not the area where the claimant currently lives.