Friday, January 06, 2006

WCJ May Accept Self-Employment Earnings On Tax Return Over Vocational Expert Testimony

In Acme Markets, Inc. v. WCAB (Brown), the Commonwealth Court reviewed a WCJ's decision wherein the WCJ accepted the Claimant's statement of his self-employment income as reflected on his tax return, after deductions. The Employer argued the Claimant's gross income was a more accurate measure of his earning power. The Claimant had taken deductions for business expenses and a salary for his wife for secretarial and bookkeeping services.

The WCJ rejected the testimony of the Employer's vocational consultant as to average earnings of appraisers (the Claimant's self-employed occupation) secretaries and bookkeepers. The Court highlighted the reasons given by the WCJ for rejecting this testimony and found the WCJ's decision was reasoned. The Court affirmed.

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