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Good faith requirement applies to light duty offer of employment:

Monday, August 3, 2020

State ex rel. Pacheco v. IC, 2019-Ohio-2954

Pasheco was injured in 2012 while working for Alcoa, and his claim was allowed for foot and ankle conditions. He was on TTD through March 2013.  Alcoa offered a light duty  sedentary job beginning on April 1, 2013, which Pacheco accepted. He worked light duty for three weeks, in which he sat in the cafeteria and claimed he had almost nothing to do. He then saw a new doctor, who gave him similar restrictions, including ability to sit up for 8 hours and use a computer. He requested TTD compensation starting on April 22, which Alcoa denied. The IC also denied TTD compensation because there was no medical evidence that he was unable to perform the light duty position during the time period for which he sought TTD. Pacheco filed a mandamus. The Tenth District found there was some evidence supporting that the light duty job was within Pacheco’s restrictions, but also concluded that the job stationing Pacheco in the cafeteria with little work was objectively not offered in good faith, and issued a writ of mandamus ordering the IC to either grant TTD or hold a new hearing. The IC appealed.

The Supreme Court also found that there was some evidence that the light duty job was within Pacheco’s restrictions. The Supreme Court held that, under OAC 4121-3-32(A)(6), there is a good faith requirement that applies to an employer’s offer of light duty employment, and that the Court of Appeals should not have made this determination and issued a writ on this basis. The IC . The Supreme Court issued a limited writ directing the IC to determine whether Alcoa’s light duty job offer was made in good faith.  

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