A disability that causes or contributes to an employee's decision to retire constitutes an involuntary withdrawal from the labor market

A disability that causes or contributes to an employee's decision to retire constitutes an involuntary withdrawal from the labor market Matter of Jimerson v New York City Police Dept., 2010 NY Slip Op 06729, Decided on September 30, 2010, Appellate Division, Third Department Delores Jimerson was employed as a senior administrative aide by the New York City Police Department. In May 2002, claimant applied for workers' compensation benefits claiming injuries to her hands, neck and back due to repetitive movement associated with her employment. A work-related injury to the neck and back was ultimately established. Jimerson continued to work for the Police Department but ultimately claimed that she was totally disabled from working.* A Workers' Compensation Law Judge determined that Jimerson had voluntarily removed herself from the labor market and denied her additional workers' compensation benefits. The Workers' Compensation Board subsequently affirmed the Administrative Law Judge's determination that Jimerson had voluntarily removed herself from the labor market. In response to Jimerson appeal, the Appellate Division commented that "Whether a claimant has voluntarily withdrawn from the labor market is a factual issue for the Board to resolve and, if supported by substantial evidence in the record, the Board's resolution of that issue will not be disturbed." However, the court continued, "It is well settled … that "a retirement is an involuntary withdrawal if the claimant's disability caused or contributed to the decision to retire." Reviewing the record, the Appellate Division said that it did not find substantial evidence to support the Board's determination that Jimerson had voluntarily withdrew from the labor market. Although, said the court, the Board found that Jimerson "was able to perform her regular job duties without restriction on a full-time basis until removing herself from the labor market," there is a complete absence of evidence to support such finding. Indeed, the decision notes that "there is substantial evidence to the contrary." The Appellate Division then reversed the Board's determination and remanded the matter to it for "further proceedings not inconsistent with this Court's decision." * Jimerson retired in November 2006. The decision is posted on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_06729.htm NYPPL

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