A1 Pioneer Moving v. Labor Commission
A1 Pioneer Moving v. Labor Commission, 2021 UT App 115 (Christiansen Forster, J.)
Employee was injured at work and given light-duty work. He subsequently got into an altercation with a co-worker and was terminated. After his termination, Employer did not provide temporary total disability benefits. Employee sought those benefits, and Employer argued that Employee was not entitled to those benefits because Employee constructively refused light duty work by engaging in violence against the co-worker. The Labor Commission rejected that argument, reasoning that there was no evidence that Employee engaged in a fight with the co-worker to purposely sever his employment. Thus, the commission determined that Employee was eligible for benefits. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:
- Employer was required to file an application under Utah Code § 34A-2-410.5 before it could reduce or terminate the benefits that Employee was entitled to after his termination.
- A constructive refusal of light-duty work requires a showing that the terminated employee acted deliberately and with the intent to sever the employment relationship. Here, the record did not show that Employee engaged in the altercation with the intent to sever the employment relationship.