South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Worker's Compensation Benefits Continue when Worker Subject to Lockout
Description Appeals court held that an unemployment compensation hearing officer, holding a hearing by conference call, did not have the right to refuse to allow a party to participate by cellphone while driving and then rule against that party. No rule prohibited participation in the meeting by that manner of communication.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers' Compensation; Benefits; Lockout
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts While working in 1993, Bradley was injured and awarded partial incapacity benefits and assigned to other duties by his employer. In 1996, while still receiving benefits, Bradley and other union members were subject to a lockout by his employer. His employer quit paying Bradley the disability benefits during the six-month lockout. Bradley contested the lack of payments. The Department of Industrial Accidents ruled in Bradley's favor as did the reviewing board; the employer appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. Layoffs and lockouts are involuntary terminations that do not affect the right to receive workers' compensation benefits. When work is unavailable in circumstances beyond the control of the employee, the benefits continue.

Citation Stephen T. Bradley's Case, 778 N.E.2d 11 (App. Ct., Mass., 2002)

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