Claimant Proves Management Had Notice Of Concurrent Job At Local Bar

Case name:  Cipolla v. Chicago Heights Steel, 13 ILWCLB 219 (Ill. Ind. Comm. 2005).

Ruling:  The Commission held that a claimant’s concurrent employment at a lounge should be included in his average weekly wage calculation, as the defendant had notice of such employment.

What it means:  If an employee is not required to formally report concurrent employment to his employer, informal notice obtained through management’s personal observations of the claimant performing his other job is sufficient to establish notice.

Summary:  The claimant was working for the defendant steel company when he injured his neck while swinging a sledgehammer.  At the time of the accident, the claimant had concurrent employment as a doorman at a lounge.  He held this job for nine years. During this time, many of the claimant’s supervisors with the defendant visited the lounge and observed the claimant working there.  The claimant testified that he even secured a job for the supervisor’s son at his lounge. In awarding benefits, the arbitrator noted that the parties stipulated to the claimant’s concurrent employment but disputed whether the defendant was aware of such employment prior to the work accident.  The arbitrator noted that the claimant’s testimony, unrebutted and uncontroverted, established that at least five members of management had observed him working there. Furthermore, although the defendants human resources manager testified that he was unaware of the claimant’s employment, he also testified there was no company policy or rule dictating that employees report concurrent employment to management.  Based on this evidence, the arbitrator found the defendant had notice of the concurrent employment and therefore the wages earned at the lounge should be included in the average weekly wage calculation.  The Commission affirmed and adopted the arbitrator’s decision.