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Voluntary Withdrawal?

In a recent decision (VanWinkle v. Harden Furniture), the Appellate Court ruled that a woman who took a less physically strenuous job due an injury suffered at her previous place of work did not voluntarily remove herself from the job market and is entitled to her full workers' compensation benefits.

Melissa VanWinkle was a woodworker for Harden furniture.  In October of 2004 she suffered a work-related back injury.  She was away from work for three months, but returned with the restriction that she not handle anythingheavier than 10 pounds.  She continued working until August 2005, but found that her job required her to lift heavier objects.  She asked for a transfer to a less physically demanding office position, but her employee told her that none were available.  This forced her to resign and take a lower paying but less strenuous job.

Her former employee contended that this signaled a voluntary withdrawal from the labor market, meaning she would not receive the benefits she was entitled too.  However, the court took the side of Ms. VanWinkle

0 Response

  1. MM

    Since when do State laws trump Federal laws. Only in New York can Worker’s Comp rationalize that NYS workers comp laws are different then Federal and just because you are on Social Security, which has the most rigid requirements, for some reason NYS is able to trump Federal law. What an abuse of the worker’s comp court system. Here is a great example – injured work is disabled DUE TO injury. Injured worker is now eligible for Social Security and Private LTD insurance that injured worker paid into for decades. Injured worker has to received reduced benefits and since it was a workers comp injury, benefits for LTD are reduced to zero since Workers comp and SSD are paying the max. HOwever, then 17 years later and the games continue in NYS WORKERS COMP and benefits stop, even though injured worker is still eligible for social security as a result of worker related injury. How does injured worker obtain the private LTD benefits that were reduced to zero 17 years later and still qualifies for. ????? Can someone please answer this question>>>>>>>>>>>>>>