Friday, February 25, 2005

Commonwealth Court Holds Order to Attend Vocational Evaluation is Interlocutory and No Record is Required

In F. Swartz v. WCAB (Cheltenham York Road Nursing & Rehabilitation), the Commonwealth Court considered whether a WCJ must hold an evidentiary hearing and make a finding that a vocational expert is qualified before sending the Claimant to a vocational interview. The WCJ ordered the Claimant to attend without making a record on the vocational expert's qualifications, and the Board affirmed.

The Commonwealth Court analyzed whether the WCJ's Order was interlocutory, and held that it was. The Order was not considered a final order, and the Claimant was entitled to preserve his objections to the qualifications of the vocational counselor in any future litigation.

For these reasons, the Court did not feel there was any risk to the Claimant.

There was no discussion of whether actual job referrals were to be made to the Claimant. In this circumstance, Claimant's counsel will sometimes argue there is risk to the Claimant from working with an unqualified vocational counselor.

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