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A Wage Differential Must be Supported by an Adequate Job Search

By Christopher S. Crawford

In Deckrow v. United Airlines, IWCC# 06 WC 33452, a ramp attendant suffered an injury. He underwent a repair of his medial meniscus. The Commission found the petitioner could not return to his prior employment as a ramp attendant. However, his claim for a wage differential was denied. The Commission noted that to demonstrate impairment, Petitioner must show what he is able to earn in some suitable employment when he is making claims that he cannot return to his old job. In this case, petitioner repeatedly applied for positions for which he was unqualified and sought salaries that were excessively high. Petitioner also did not sufficiently complete applications. They determined that the petitioner’s job search showed a lack of good faith. The Commission reversed the decision of the arbitrator who awarded a wage differential. Instead, they awarded petitioner 40% loss of use of the leg.

Originally published in the Fall 2012 edition of Quinn Quarterly.

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