The Iowa Court of Appeals filed a Decision on November 8, 2017 in the case of Norton v. Hy-Vee, Inc. which addresses the Iowa law on the effect of accommodations to an employee after a work injury. In the Norton case the Claimant was a pharmacy tech that suffered a soft tissue neck injury. No surgery was required for the neck injury. The Claimant and the employer both agreed that it was a permanent injury and that the Claimant’s ability to work had been reduced from 40 hours a week to 30 hours a week because of pain. Hy-Vee did accommodate the worker’s limitations and allowed her to work 6 hours a day and 5 days per week.
The case also involved a disputed mental health claim. The Claimant argued that she developed depression and anxiety from the injury. The employer argued that the depression and anxiety were caused by stressors in her personal life.
The Claimant was injured prior to July 1, 2017 and therefore the traditional Iowa law on workers’ compensation damages applied. (See here for an explanation of damages in post-July 1, 2017 Iowa work comp injuries).