Labor Market Attachment Requirements in New York

An effective way to reduce the exposure on a New York Workers’ Compensation claim and encourage the claimant’s return to work is by raising the issue of labor market attachment.  Once a claimant is found to be partially disabled (by a law judge or treating physician), the claimant must procure evidence of their work seach efforts for a job within their medical restrictions. If this evidence is not produced, a law judge may enter a finding of “voluntary withdrawal from the labor market” and suspend indemnity benefits to the claimant until he/she proves re-attachment to the labor market.

 

Proper evidence of a good faith job search include continued participation in any one of the following: (1) one of New York State's Department of Labor's reemployment services, (2) the services offered by a One-Stop Career Center, (3) a retraining program, (4) a rehabilitation program by VESID or other board approved rehabilitation program, (5) a job service commonly utilized to secure work within a specific industry, or (6) enrollment and full time attendance in an accredited educational institution to pursue employment within the work restrictions.

 

If a claimant wishes to independently search for work, participation in one of the above mentioned services must accompany the independent job search. Generally, independent job searches alone are not sufficient to prove labor market attachment.  The Court’s prior decisions note that independent job searches alone are usually sporadic and often do not result in a disabled worker finding work within their restrictions.  As such, the claimant must participate in one of the above-mentioned services in addition to their independent job search.

 

Claimants are required to submit proof of their independent job search by way of Form C-258.1. All on-line applications must be accompanied by the following: (1) an e-mail confirmation of the submission and/or (2) a reference number when an individual uses their site.  This information allows the employer/carrier to confirm that the job application was indeed submitted. In addition, if the independent job search was conducted on-line, the claimant must provide “copies of their resume submitted” and “the inquiry letter or e-mail communication; or the application completed” with the day, month and year submitted, the nature of the employment sought, name and address of the employer and the response of the potential employer.”

 

The additional requirements have resulted in claimants engaging in a more meaningful job search.  This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a claimant returning to work for a position that is within their medical restrictions.

 

For more information on whether a work search meets the Court’s requirements, please contact Usra Hussain at uhussain@bhlfirm.com.