(a) For suspension and reinstatement of income benefits by interlocutory order generally, see Board Rule 102D.
(b) When an employee unjustifiably refuses to accept employment which has been approved by the authorized treating physician(s) suitable to his/her impaired condition and offered to the employee in writing, the employer/insurer may suspend payment of income benefits to that employee without an order of the Board in the following manner:
(1) File with the Board a Form WC-2 and Form WC-240 certifying that at least ten days before the employee was required to report for work he/she was notified on the completed Form WC-240 mailed to the employee and his/her attorney that there was a suitable job available, that it was approved by his/her authorized treating physician(s) after an examination within the last 60 days, and refusal to attempt to perform the job would result in the suspension of payment of weekly income benefits to the employee. The employer/insurer should provide to the employee and legal counsel a copy of any job description/analysis in reference to subparagraph (2)(i), (ii) and (iii) at the time of submission to the authorized treating physician(s).
(2) Attached to the Form WC-240 shall be:
(i) A description of the essential job duties to be performed, including the hours to be worked, the rate of payment, and a description of the essential tasks to be performed;
(ii) The written approval of the authorized treating physician(s) of the essential job duties to be performed;
(iii) The location of the job, with the date and time that the employee is to report to work.
Attaching a properly completed Form WC-240A will satisfy the requirements for making a proper offer of employment as set forth herein.
(3) If the employee refuses to attempt to perform the proffered job after receiving the above notification, the employer/insurer shall be authorized to suspend payment of income benefits to the employee effective the date that they unjustifiably refused to report to work.
(c) Should the employee accept the employment offered by the employer/insurer but fail to continue working for more than the prescribed fifteen (15) scheduled work days, the employer/insurer, whether or not they have sent a WC-240, shall immediately reinstate payment of income benefits and shall file with the Board and serve upon the employee the appropriate Form WC-2 reflecting the reinstatement of income benefits.
(i) Failure to immediately reinstate benefits pursuant to Board Rule 240 (c), shall result in the waiver of the employer/insurer’s defense of the suitability of employment for the period of time the employer/insurer did not pay the employee’s weekly income benefits when due.
(ii) When the employer/insurer immediately reinstates benefits pursuant to Board Rule 240 (c), the employer/insurer are entitled to seek reimbursement of such benefits at a hearing addressing the suitability of the proffered employment
(d) When calculating the fifteen (15) scheduled work days provided by statute, the employer/insurer shall include as a work day each day or part thereof during which the employee is scheduled to perform his/her job duties.
(e) The employer/insurer shall also be entitled to suspend payment of weekly benefits to the employee pending a hearing by an order of the Board finding an unjustifiable refusal of the employee to accept employment procured for him/her suitable to his/her capacity. A motion requesting this order may be made simultaneously with the filing of a request for hearing or at any time during the pendency of the hearing and award and shall be filed on Form WC-102D, and must be accompanied by an affidavit from the employer setting forth that suitable employment has been offered to the employee as set forth in (b) above, the offer is continuing, and analysis of the job is attached. The employer/insurer shall have the employee examined by the authorized treating physician(s) within 60 days prior to this request for suspension of income benefits. No request for suspension of income benefits for failure to accept suitable employment shall be granted unless the authorized treating physician(s) approve(s) the job offered by the employer/insurer. A party who objects to this motion shall file their response on Form WC-102D with the Board within 15 days of the date of the certificate of service on the request, and shall serve a copy on all counsel and unrepresented parties.
(f) The Board may also issue an interlocutory order reinstating weekly income benefits pending a hearing. A party making this motion shall file Form WC-102D, and shall serve a copy, along with a copy of supporting documents, on all counsel and unrepresented parties. A motion requesting this order may be made simultaneously with the filing of a request for hearing based on a change in condition or at any time during the pendency of the hearing and award and must be accompanied by an affidavit of the employee setting forth his contentions, along with current medical records when applicable. A party who objects to this motion shall file Form WC-102D with the Board within 15 days of the date of the Certificate of Service on Form WC-102D and shall serve a copy on all counsel and unrepresented parties.
(g) In the event the employee’s weekly benefits are suspended pursuant to O.C.G.A. 34-9-240(b)(2), the employer/insurer shall comply with O.C.G.A. 34-9-263 and Board Rule 263.