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    Employer Responsibility for Job Availability Under Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Law

    Many states have seen the gradual erosion of workers’ comp benefits in favor of employers and their workers’ comp insurance carriers. In Pennsylvania, one of the mechanisms available to employers or their insurance companies is to “modify;” in other words, reduce workers’ comp benefits through the Labor Market Survey (LMS), also known as the “Earning Power Assessment” (EPS). 

    If you have suffered from an injury at work in Pennsylvania, a Lancaster workers comp lawyer will help you recover the maximum benefits allowed by law. This is particularly important as laws change or benefits are reduced, in that understanding your rights under the law is critical in recovering all of the benefits you are entitled to.

    What is the LMS/EPS?

    An issue arises when injured workers have physical limitations that prevent a return to their previous occupation. One of the changes negatively affecting workers was the creation of the LMS or EPS. Before the change in Pennsylvania law, if an employer or their workers’ comp insurance company wanted to reduce a worker’s benefits, the insurance company was required to refer the injured worker to jobs that were open and available. 

    If the injured worker made good faith applications to these jobs and was not hired, these jobs were deemed unavailable, and the worker’s benefits would continue. Employers and their workers’ comp insurance companies determined that this process was not favorable enough for them, and subsequently lobbied for changes to the Pennsylvania workers’ comp law.

    So, in 1996, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 57, which allows benefits to be reduced as long as the employer or insurance company can show that suitable LMS/EPA employment is generally available to the injured worker in the worker’s usual area of employment.

    Has There Been Any Legal Reaction?

    Pennsylvania courts have litigated the LMS/EPA issue and decided that the employer or insurance company may reduce benefits and only has to address the LMS/EPA issue if an injured worker offers evidence that a suitable job is available with the employer, at which point the employer or insurance company has to show no such job exists. This ruling ignores the fact that it is far easier for an employer to show an absence of a job than it is for an injured worker to show a suitable job exists. This seemingly small change to workers’ comp law is reflective of the ways in which the law continues to slowly erode the rights of injured workers. 

    Let a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Explain How Workers’ Comp Benefits May be Reduced 

    A reduction in workers’ comp benefits can have a substantial impact on the quality of life for workers who have been injured on the job. A Lancaster workers comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with your claim and be sure that you are receiving all of the benefits allowed by law. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.