Rita Noa v. City of Aventura and Florida League of Cities

In Rita Noa v. City of Aventura and Florida League of Cities Claimant is an executive assistant for the City of Aventura Police Department. Claimant sustained a compensable injury and continued to work receiving her annual merit bonus. Claimant then filed a petition seeking an adjustment to her AWW based off the annual merit bonus arguing it should have been included. The E/C contented that the AWW was correctly calculated. The JCC agreed and excluded the bonus from the AWW calculation. Claimant appealed and since the facts are undisputed the case turns on a question of law and the JCC reviews the case as de novo. The court held that “wages” can be defined in terms of when they are “earned” rather than when they are “paid” in certain circumstances. This case is consistent with the underlying theory and purpose of calculating AWW, which is a method of establishing the value of an employee’s lost ability to earn future wages during the period of disability attributable to the covered industrial accident. The court REVERSED and REMANDED to include Claimant’s bonus.

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