Professor Janet Smith
Employment Law BA370
15 August 2011
The Legal issue is this case was whether or should be entitled to temporary total disability compensation on the grounds that he had voluntarily abandoned his employment with respondent KFC, when he violated a written work rule. The court granted Gross’s motion, vacated their decision in State ex rel. Gross v. Indus. Comm., (“Gross I”), and affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, which granted a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to reinstate Gross’s temporary total disability (“TTD”) benefits.
The voluntary abandonment of employment bars an injured worker from the receipt of TDD. Voluntary abandonment arises when a worker leaves the job at which he/she was injured for reasons not related to the injury or otherwise removes himself/herself from the workforce. The rationale is that when a claimant has voluntarily abandoned employment, there is no longer a loss of earnings and therefore, no justification for the continued payment of temporary total compensation. If an employee voluntarily abandons their employment for violating a written work rule: (1) with clearly defined prohibited conduct; (2) that had been previously identified by the Employer as a dischargeable offense, and (3) that was known or should have been known to the employee, TTD can be denied. Employment discharge can be considered a voluntary abandonment if it originates from behavior that the Claimant willingly undertook. This rule arises from the principal that an individual may presume to tacitly accept the consequences of his voluntary acts. In this situation, there voluntary abandonment doctrine should of been applied, due to his total disregard of safety rules and his repeated violations thereof.
The practical consequences of this decision sends the wrong message as it applies to TDD, this decision implies, even though you continually break the rules and are injured, you are entitled to TDD. If the original decision was upheld it would of