Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2013 14
J. Moore
  • Labour market re-entry {LMR} (suitability of program)
  • Labour market re-entry {LMR} (expenses) (tools or equipment)

The worker suffered a bilateral shoulder injury in 2004, for which he was granted a 12% NEL award, later increased to 18%. The Board identified a SEB as a driver training instructor. The worker started working in the SEB in 2006, but had to stop after one year when it was determined that the SEB was not appropriate for his physical restrictions and medication. The Board then identified a SEB as a customer service representative, for which the LMR program included training and a work placement. The worker stopped the work placement because of worsening shoulder pain. The Board based LOE benefits on deemed earnings in the SEB of customer service representative.

The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer finding that the Board correctly determined LOE benefits and denying reimbursement for the cost of a car he purchased for use as a driver training instructor.
The SEB of customer service representative was appropriate for the worker. The worker permanently discontinued the LMR program due to what may have been a temporary worsening of his shoulder condition. However, he was not permanently prevented from working as a customer service representative. He used the temporary exacerbation of his shoulder condition as an excuse to discontinue the LMR program. The Board correctly based LOE benefits on deemed earnings in the SEB.
Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 19-03-06, on work transition expenses, allows the Board to pay for supplies and equipment until the work transition plan is completed or discontinued.
In this case, the LMR program for driver training instructor was completed before the worker bought the car. The car was not required for the program. He did not require the car for some characteristic related to his compensable condition. Rather, the company that hired the worker required all its instructors to have their own vehicles which met certain standards. The worker was in the same position as anyone wanting to work as a driver training instructor.
Further, the worker was reimbursed by the company during that year of employment as a driver training instructor for about $17,000 in expenses. This was clearly intended to reimburse the worker for the cost of purchasing the car. When he stopped working as a driver training instructor, he could have sold the car. He elected to keep the car for his personal use.
The worker was adequately compensable by the company for purchase of the car and its use during the year of employment. The Board was not obligated to cover the cost of the car during subsequent years. The Vice-Chair concluded that the worker was not entitled to reimbursement for the car.
The appeal was dismissed.