Coming and Going Rule
November 7, 2018
Most workers in Pennsylvania are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”), which allows employees to recover medical expenses and lost wages resulting from their work-related injuries and illnesses. Workers may also receive other types of workers’ compensation benefits, including disfigurement and specific loss, vocational rehabilitation and death benefits. However, to be eligible for any workers’ compensation benefits, a workers’ injury or illness must have either occurred at work or within the workers’ course of employment, or in accordance with the “coming and going rule”.
The coming and going rule states that workers who are injured while commuting to and from work are generally not entitled to workers’ compensation. Because those workers are not acting in the scope of their employment, the injury is considered to have happened outside the workplace and is therefore not compensable under the Act.
Exceptions to the Coming and Going Rule
Employees Who Travel for Work
Although employees are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on their way to and from work, there are exceptions. Traveling employees, for example, may be able to collect compensation for injuries sustained while coming and going. Employees with no fixed place of employment may be considered traveling employees.
In a recent Pennsylvania workers’ compensation appeal case, the court held that an employee who was injured while traveling to his employer’s main office was entitled to workers’ compensation because traveling was an inherent part of his job duties and he had no fixed place of work. Therefore, workers who have no fixed place of work are typically considered to be acting within the course and scope of their employment, even when traveling to their employer’s facility, and are therefore entitled to workers’ compensation.
Employees Whose Employment Contracts Include Transportation to and From Work
Employees who are given company vehicles may be eligible for workers’ compensation even if they were on their way into or home from the office when they got injured. If the employment contract states that the employee may use the company vehicle to get to and from work, then the employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, provided they were not using the vehicle for any impermissible purposes according to the contract.
Employees Who Were Acting in Furtherance of the Business of Their Employer
Employees who are on their way to and from work may still be eligible for workers’ compensation if their employer sends them on a special assignment. For example, if an employer asks an employee who is on her way into work to pick up some office supplies and that employee is injured in a car accident, the employee may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits because she was on a special assignment.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Traveling Employees Obtain Compensation for their Work-Related Injuries
If you qualify under one of the exceptions to the coming and going rule, you may still be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. if you were injured while on your way to or from work. To discuss your case, call us at 888-PITT-LAW to schedule a free consultation or complete our online contact form.
We represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.