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Workers’ Compensation: Is My Injury Covered?

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Work-related injuries are usually pretty straight-forward. However, there are instances where an injured person may have difficulty determining whether or not Pennsylvania law entitles them to workers’ compensation. Here is some information that can help you determine whether your injury is work related and if you should contact a Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney.
Company Parties/Sporting Events
In most cases, injuries that occur at company celebrations such as picnics, holiday parties, and softball games are covered by workers’ compensation. This is especially true if attendance is required or if the employees choosing to opt out have to forfeit pay or vacation time to not attend. In SOME cases, this can even include injuries that are the result of alcohol-related behaviors.
An injury that occurs when an employee is required to travel outside of their normal work route (for example, a conference or business trip) is most likely covered by workers’ compensation. However, injuries that occur during a regular commute to or from work will usually not be covered unless the person is using a company vehicle.  
Safety and Rule Violations
Cases involving employee rule violations can be tricky. Often the outcome depends on the severity of the behavior. For example, instances that involve horseplay may result in workers’ compensation if the supervisor is aware of the behavior and especially if he or she allows it to go on. However, claims resulting from safety violations can be denied if the injured worker has a history of violating safety rules and has been disciplined in the past for their actions. Furthermore, most cases involving intentional self-inflicted injuries are not covered under workers’ compensation.   
Generally, injuries that occur while an employee is on his or her lunch break do not fall under workers’ compensation. There are, however, exceptions. For instance, if an employee is hurt while picking up lunch for their supervisor, they might receive workers’ compensation depending on a number of circumstances. Also, if the injury occurs on company property (for example, the break room) the employee may be covered depending on how and why the injury took place. 
If your employer has denied a workers’ compensation claim you feel you are entitled to, contact a Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.  


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Pa Workers’ Comp Employee Rights – Who is Entitled to Compensation Insurance?

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In Pennsylvania, most employers are legally required to post a clearly visible and easily accessible notice containing the name, address and telephone number of who to contact regarding all Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims and information. Knowing who to contact is important because it can prevent you from missing out on the employee rights you are entitled to in the event that you are injured on the job.    

However, if you and your coworkers fall into one or more of the following categories, the employer is NOT legally required to insure you with compensation insurance:

  • Federal Employees
  • Longshoremen
  • Railroad Employees
  • Employees whose work is casual and not a regular procedure of the business of the employer  
  • Employees who work from their home or a different property not under the jurisdiction or management of the establishment AND who repair, finish, etc. items for sale that are given to them
  • Agricultural laborers earning less than $1200 per person per calendar year in which none of the employees work for more than 30 days per calendar year
  • Domestic workers who did not elect with the PA Department of Labor and Industry to be under the stipulation of the Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Sole proprietors or general partners
  • Employees that have been given impunity by the PA Department Labor and Industry due to religious beliefs
  • Executive officers who have been given exemption by the PA Department of Labor and Industry

If you do not meet any of the above exclusions, your employer is legally required to insure you and your coworkers with workers’ compensation (even if you are part time).  If your employer does not have a notice posted and/or you suspect he or she is illegally neglecting to insure their employees with workers’ compensation insurance, contact the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania at (717) 787-3567 immediately. If you are an employer with questions as to whether or not you are legally required to provide your workers with workers’ compensation insurance, you should contact a competent Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney right away.  Enhanced by Zemanta