A major Milwaukee employer shut its doors last week. Cargill, which had run a beef processing plant south of downtown, shut down the facility-resulting in the loss of 600 jobs! (The Journal Sentinel ran a story documentating the devastation to the workforce: Bitter and Stunned: Cargill Workers Share Sense of Betrayal.).
Despite the job loss, many of these workers now have further worker's compensation claims to pursue. If any injured worker had returned to Cargill with accommodated permanent limitations, they now can pursue vocational claims for academic retraining or loss of earning capacity. The statute of limtiations in Wisconsin is long: 12 years. Even if Cargill had accommodate a worker's permanent limitations for many years, the plant layoff still allows a worker to pursue further benefits.
Specifically, if an injured worker has permanent limitations from a work injury and they cannot return to work for the time-of-injury employer (which includes a layoff), they can bring a claim for vocational retraining or for loss of earning capacity, depending on the body part hurt. Laid off workers with permanent restrictions shoudl contact a worker's compensation attorney right away to determine if they have a further worker's compensation claim to bring. The attorneys at Domer Law can assist to make this assessment.