• An employer that establishes that a claimant’s loss of earnings is not related to the work injury, but is related to other factors, is not required to prove job availability within the claimant’s medical restrictions.
  • March 1, 2018
  • Carlos Torijano v. WCAB (In a Flash Plumbing); No. 1686 C.D. 2016; filed: Aug. 30, 2017; Judge Hearthway

    The Workers’ Compensation Judge granted the employer’s suspension petition, mainly because the claimant refused to work because he was reprimanded for not calling in before job, which he was required to do. According to this witness, the claimant became upset when asked to sign a paper regarding the reprimand and thereafter did not show up for work. The claimant was never fired. Another witness for the employer testified that the claimant quit because he was asked to sign the letter about the reprimand. Additionally, the claimant admitted he told the insurance adjuster that the only reason he was not working was because of the reprimand. The judge considered this a “voluntary quit.” The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board affirmed. The Commonwealth Court affirmed the suspension as well. According to the court, the critical fact was the claimant’s admission that he voluntarily left his job because of his reprimand. The court concluded that the claimant’s loss of earnings was related to a factor other than the work injury, requiring a suspension of benefits.