Travel Expense Elimination Agreement In Arkansas
The pertinent statute, Ark. Code Ann. 11-9-505 (b) (1) (Repl. 1996) provides:
In addition to benefits otherwise provided for by this chapter, an employee who is entitled to receive compensation benefits for permanent disability and who has not been offered an opportunity to return to work and/or reemployment assistance shall be paid reasonable expenses of travel and maintenance and other necessary costs of a program of vocational rehabilitation if the commission finds that the program is reasonable in relation to the disability sustained by the employee.
Ark. Code Ann. 11-9-108 (Repl. 1996), states:
No agreement by an employee to waive his right to compensation shall be valid, and no contract, regulation, or device whatsoever shall operate to relieve the employer or carrier, in whole or in part, from any liability created by this chapter, except as specifically provided elsewhere in this chapter.
This statutory provision is clear and unambiguous. Therefore, any contractual agreement could not operate to eliminate reasonable travel expenses from a worker.