Workers’ Compensation and Employer Responsibility
April 18, 2019
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted in 1915 with the purpose of protecting both employees and employers. It does this by compensating for lost wages and medical costs incurred from work-related injuries and diseases. At the same time, it shields employers from being directly sued by the injured employees.
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Department of Labor & Industry handles the administrative tasks and appeals and determines what compensation employees receive. There are certain conditions that apply for receiving benefits and specific procedures that must be followed.
Which Employees Must Provide Coverage?
Most companies in the state must provide workers’ compensation to their employees, and those that do not can be sued and prosecuted by the state. There are exemptions for:
- Domestic servants
- Agricultural employers earning less than $1,200 per year/working less than 30 days per year
- Employees who are exempt due to their religious beliefs
- Certain federal employees, railroad workers, and longshoremen, if they are covered under a different worker’s compensation law
Qualified employees will be covered for as long as they are employed, beginning on their first day of work.
Pennsylvania offers three options for workers’ compensation coverage, including the State Workers’ Insurance Fund, a licensed insurance company, or self-insurance, which must be approved by The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Once everything is in order, the employer is required to notify their employees about their rights. This can be done with a workers’ compensation rights notice posted in a common area to be seen by everyone. The notice should have the name of the providing insurance company, a list of approved physicians, and information about how the guidelines work. These details should also be given to all new employees in writing.
When an injury happens, the employer is responsible for providing emergency medical care, if needed. This includes appropriate responses, such as contacting an ambulance, administering first-aid, and covering follow-up care. The employer must also give the injured employee the proper claim paperwork within one work day after the company is informed about the incident. This paperwork includes claim forms and specific written instructions for filing the claim. The employer also has the duty of letting the insurance company or company benefits administrator know about the injury, in the same time frame as the paperwork.
Sometimes, a pre-existing physical condition can be worsened from work conditions. Employees should know that if they had a medical condition before the injury, it will still be covered.
When a workplace accident or injury occurs, employers are obligated by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Workers are also entitled to certain rights, although companies may not always follow through. If an employer does not follow through to provide workers’ compensation, the worker has the option of seeking legal counsel.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for the Injured Employee Rights
If you are having difficulties receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. today for a free consultation. We will carefully review your case and obtain the justice you deserve. Complete an online form or call 888-PITT-LAW to get started.
Located in Philadelphia, our team provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Pennsylvania, including 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.