Employment: Qualifications

Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 Where Petitioner has reached MMI, and his doctor approved but subsequently disavowed his approval of submitted job analyses, the Court, having had the opportunity to observe Petitioner’s demeanor at trial and to assess the evidence as a whole, determined that Petitioner is unable to perform the five submitted jobs, either because of physical limitations, a lack of required skills, or both.

Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 In McFerran v. Consolidated Freightways, 2000 MT 365, ¶ 13, 303 Mont. 393, 15 P.3d 935, the Montana Supreme Court concluded that regular employment means a job which a claimant is qualified for both physically and vocationally, and may encompass part-time employment if it is substantial and significant. In this case, the Court determines that Petitioner is not qualified both physically and vocationally for any one of the five jobs identified.
Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 While benefits may be terminated when a worker has been released to work, there must be some realistic chance that the worker can perform the jobs for which he was approved. The Court may take such factors as intelligence, skills, and abilities into account in considering whether a claimant has a reasonable prospect of regular employment in the identified position. Palmer v. Home Ins. Co., 1999 MTWCC 42, ¶¶ 44, 48. Petitioner spent twenty years working as a school custodian. The record demonstrates he lacks the social skills, education, and training to perform two customer service positions identified by the vocational rehabilitation counselor as requiring the same or lesser skills as Petitioner possesses.

Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 The fact that a worker who was employed as a school custodian for twenty years took a basic computer class several years ago is insufficient to render him qualified for customer service positions requiring computer skills.

Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 A job which requires stocking shelves and coolers, reaching overhead, mopping, and sweeping, cumulatively exceed the physical limitations of Petitioner’s shoulder condition, and thus is a job which Petitioner is not qualified physically to perform.
Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 Petitioner suffers from a compensable occupational disease in his right shoulder which led to permanent lifting restrictions after he attained MMI. Petitioner’s other disabilities, including his nonwork-related uncontrolled diabetes, must be taken into consideration in evaluating his ability to work.