Maine Workers’ Compensation Alert: Appellate Division Addresses Refusal of Suitable Employment Under § 214

In Tremblay v. L.L. Bean, WCB App. Div. Dec. No. 15-4 (February 18, 2015), the Board awarded protection of the Act but not ongoing partial incapacity benefits on account of a refusal of a bona fide offer of suitable employment pursuant to 39-A M.R.S.A. § 214(1)(A).

The Appellate Division affirmed. Although the employee claimed she left a final light-duty position because her duties were too physically demanding and she lacked the necessary background and training, the Appellate Division found compelling evidence that the employee did not mention physical problems to her employer while in her light-duty assignment, that the work was within her restrictions, that no medical provider took her out of work, and that she applied for a similar job shortly thereafter. It rejected the employee’s argument that it was reasonable for her to leave L.L Bean because her acceptance of several assignments in an attempt to accommodate her injuries showed there was no suitable work available.

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