Belanger v. City of Lewiston
August 13, 2014
Work Search Partial Incapacity Work Capacity Monaghan Factors
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
The Appellate Division panel affirmed the hearing officer’s decision denying the employer’s petition for review seeking to reduce the ongoing payment of 100% partial incapacity benefits. It was uncontested that Belanger had regained work capacity. The hearing officer ruled, and the panel agreed, that Belanger’s fairly brief work search evidence and testimony about ongoing efforts to obtain employment, coupled with her education, work experience, and physical limitations, were sufficient to carry her burden of producing evidence that work was unavailable to her because of her injury. The hearing officer clearly applied some of the Monaghan factors, and was not required to explicitly relate his findings to those factors. The hearing officer was not legally compelled to find that work was available based on the employer’s labor market evidence.