In Conco Companies v. WCAB (2019) 84 CCC 1067 the applicant was an ironworker who sustained significant spinal injuries with functioning reduced to a semi-sedentary level. The Trial Judge awarded 100% PD based upon the AME report and vocational rehabilitation expert's testimony about the applicant's lack of future earning capacity. Defense appealed in part asserting vocational experts are irrelevant for post-2013 injuries because future diminished earning capacity was removed from Labor Code Section 4660.1.

The WCAB held that the earning adjustment factor was not "eliminated" but instead became "standardized" in the PD Schedule per the revised Labor Code Section 4660.1 statute, and therefore vocational experts are still relevant to address that issue. The subsequent Writ of Review was denied.

[COMMENT: The "standardization" occurred when post-2013 injuries when the WPI was automatically increased by 1.4 rather than applying the pre-2013 FEC Ranking which had eight (8) categories.]