The TN legislature made an important change to the Tennessee Workman’s Compensation Law. Specifically, compensation is limited in work comp cases if the employee returns to work with the pre-injury employer at the same rate of pay. However, the employee can re-open the case for more money if they lose their job within a certain amount of time from the settlement. To do so, you must file the claim for reconsideration within one year after the loss of employment. Unfortunately, our Court ruled that if the employer sells the business the one year time limit starts to run. This is true even if the employee continues to work for the new employer without any changes. This was very tricky because often employees do not even know a business has been sold or they never consider reopening a case because they are still at work making a good living. We would often have people call our office to reopen a case after a layoff or termination and they would have no idea that the time to file for reconsideration ran long ago because their company had traded hands in the past. Thankfully this problem has now been fixed.
To fix this problem the legislature has enacted the following law:
This law prohibits reconsideration of a prior permanent partial disability award/settlement pursuant to T.C.A. § 50-6-241 in those instances where the ownership of the employer and/or business changes but the employee continues to be employed by the successor business with the same or higher rate of pay or the employee declines an offer of employment with the same or higher rate of pay. This applies to workers compensation claims that occur on or after July 1, 2009.
If you have lost your job within the last year and had a prior workmen’s compensation claim please feel free to call our Tennessee Law Office to discuss your rights. We handle work comp claims across the state. You can call us at 800.705-2121.