In Mathis v. Broward County School Board, a woman apparently hurt her foot while working in Broward County. Unfortunately, the workplace injury resulted in a serious infection that required her to be hospitalized for a lengthy period. Although the woman’s employer initially accepted compensability for her harm, the employer refused to pay her indemnity benefits about two weeks later because a treating doctor asserted that the employee’s injury was not work-related. The employee then took unpaid leave for about one month before returning to work full-time.
While on unpaid leave, the worker filed a claim for an advance under Section 440.20(12)(c)2. of the Florida Statutes. Under the workers’ compensation law, an injured employee may seek “an advance payment of compensation” of up to $2,000 from a Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”). After a JCC denied the woman’s request for an advance, she filed an appeal with Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.