LOIS Attorney Andrea Abudayeh prevailed in a case where the claimant was directed to produce evidence of attachment to the labor market because his doctor conceded a partial disability. Instead, the claimant produced evidence that he underwent authorized surgery a week before the hearing. The claimant also argued that he did not have to look for work as he was still employed by the employer of record. He submitted a letter from the employer allegedly confirming the claimant was employed.
The Law Judge found the issue of attachment to the labor market to be moot even though claimant submitted no evidence of work search as he was employed by the employer of record. Attorney Abudayeh argued that awards should be suspended as claimant failed to attach to the labor market, arguing that surgery does not release him from his obligation to look for work before the surgery took place. The LOIS attorney also argued that in order for employment to be sufficient, claimant needs to confirm that he has an “active employment relationship” with the employer and that he is not merely still on the books. The Board Panel agreed with Abudayeh’s argument and suspended awards pending evidence of attachment to the labor market. In this matter, the claimant failed to demonstrate that he was engaged in active employment with the insured. He is not receiving disability or insurance benefits directly from the employer. He is not receiving retraining and does not have a specific timeline to return to work. As such, this creates an obligation for him to look for outside work within his restrictions.