Thibeault v. Twin Rivers Paper Company
Sedgwick Claims Management Services
June 14, 2018
CategoriesAverage Weekly Wage
AWW Non-Work Condition Short-Term Disability
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Ms. Thibeault was injured at work and filed a Petition for Award and Petition to Determine AWW. Judge Pelletier granted the petitions and ordered payment of benefits based on an AWW that excluded the weeks during which Ms. Thibeault was out of work on medical leave and receiving STD benefits for a non-work condition. Twin Rivers appealed, citing Nielsen and arguing that, because Ms. Thibeault remained an employee during the entire year, her annual earnings should have been divided by 52 weeks, rather than by the 39 weeks she actually worked that year.
The Appellate Division upheld Judge Pelletier’s decision, distinguishing Nielsen. The panel pointed out that, unlike Ms. Thibeault, Mr. Nielsen had been on vacation and had actually received vacation pay, and that to include the disputed weeks in Ms. Thibeault’s case would artificially and unfairly deflate her AWW.