Workers’ Comp and Staffing Agencies: What Is PA’s ‘Borrowed Servant’ Doctrine?

Readers of this blog know that employees who are injured at work are generally limited to compensation available to them under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act and cannot separately sue their employers for personal injury. But what happens when the employee is a contractual employee through an employment agency? Does the employee have an actionable personal…


UPDATE: PA Supreme Court Rules Flight Attendant Injured on Airport Shuttle Bus Entitled to Workers’ Comp Benefits

Last year, we blogged about a flight attendant who was injured when she slipped and fell aboard a shuttle bus at Philadelphia International Airport. The Commonwealth Court ruled that the flight attendant was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits notwithstanding her employer’s arguments that her transit was not part of her employment. Her employer, US Airways,…


Medical Testimony and Workers’ Compensation: What You DON’T Want Your Doctor to Say on the Witness Stand

As we have previously discussed in this blog, in workers’ compensation cases, employees must prove that their injury occurred during the course and scope of their employment. Generally, this requires the employee’s physician to testify to a “reasonable degree of medical certainty” that the employee’s injury is causally related to the workplace accident. So, what…


You Think Job Stress Killed Your Spouse: Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits?

Some 40 percent of U.S. workers report that their job is “very or extremely stressful,” according to a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Against this backdrop, we ask: What if you think excessive job stress literally killed your spouse? Can you, as a surviving spouse, collect workers’ compensation death benefits?…


Traveling Employee Injured in Car Crash after Meeting Co-Workers for Happy Hour: Is That Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

When is a traveling employee traveling for pleasure, as opposed to business? That was the central issue in a recent workers’ compensation case before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Celebration with Co-Workers In Peters v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Cintas Corporation), a salesman’s job duties entailed spending time in the field to meet with potential…


Domestic Service: Is a Caretaker for a Woman with Dementia Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

After a job-related injury occurs, workers typically ask one critical question: Am I entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? Fortunately, in Pennsylvania most workers are covered under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, and the answer, generally, is “yes.” However, some types of workers are not covered by the Act and thus cannot collect benefits. Today, we…


When the Day of ‘Disability’ Isn’t the Day of ‘Disability’: How One Day’s Pay Affected a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently ruled that an employee who received his full wages for the day that he was injured at work was not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits until his next workday. The ruling was critical to the court’s determination that his employer did not miss a deadline to stop paying benefits….


PA Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof for Firefighters Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Cancer

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently clarified the burden of proof required of firefighters who bring workers’ compensation claims for cancer, putting to rest conflicting interpretations of a provision added to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2011 that provides a presumption of compensable disability for firefighters who suffer from cancer. Malignant Melanoma In City of Philadelphia…