Industrial Disability In Iowa
Industrial disability measures an injured worker's lost earning capacity. Ciha, 552 N.W.2d at 157. Industrial disability is used to determine an unscheduled disability under Iowa Code section 85.34(2)(u).
Factors that should be considered include the employee's functional disability, age, education, qualifications, experience, and the ability of the employee to engage in employment for which the employee is fitted. Shank, 516 N.W.2d at 813.
"Thus, the focus is not solely on what the worker can and cannot do; the focus is on the ability of the worker to be gainfully employed." Nelson, 544 N.W.2d at 266. the Iowa Supreme Court has recently held:
In measuring a claimant's loss of earning capacity, which is the criteria for fixing the extent of permanent industrial disability, an employer's accommodation of an employee's inability to perform that person's usual work may only be considered if such accommodation would be available in the general labor market.
Otherwise, the loss of earning capacity must be based on the injured worker's present ability to earn in the competitive job market without regard to any accommodation furnished by that person's present employer. Ellingson v. Fleetguard, Inc., 599 N.W.2d 440, 445 (Iowa 1999).