Pennsylvania Work Injury off an Employer’s Property
What Happens When an Employee Suffers an Injury Off an Employer’s Property?
As long as an employee is within the course and scope of his employment, that is, working to further the employer’s interests at the time of an injury (and the injury is related thereto), that work injury would be compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. But what about injury off an Employer’s property that doesn’t occur at the employer’s office, plant, warehouse, etc. but occurs while you are furthering your employer’s interests?
Many employees are injured while commuting to and from work in their cars. In such scenario, the general rule (known as the “going and coming rule”) holds that such an injury or death sustained by an employee traveling to or from a place of employment does not occur in the course and scope of employment; thus, it is not compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. However, such an injury or death will be considered compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act if one of the following exceptions applies:
- the claimant’s employment contract included transportation to and from work;
- the claimant has no fixed place of work;
- the claimant is on a special mission for employer;
- special circumstances are such that the claimant was furthering the business of the employer.
The first exception has applied to workers who have bargained for a company car which was part of the job offer. The second exception usually applies to traveling sales professionals who although may have an office, spend the majority of the time in the field visiting customers from home or heading home from a customer’s location. The third exception applies where the employee is sent to accomplish a task either before work or after the employee has left his fixed place of business. Examples of this would be stopping at the Post Office before going to work to mail a package or getting stamps for the employer. This exception has also been extended to employees driving to training sessions or picking up parts for an employer. These special missions which benefit the employer and benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act have been awarded. The last exception is essentially a safety net, which allows the courts to look at the facts surrounding the injury and decide on a case-by-case basis if the injury occurred while furthering the interests of the employer. An employee injured while commuting to or from work should consult an attorney to review the case for potential compensability.
If you have suffered an injury off an employer’s property and have a question as to whether you are eligible for PA Workers Compensation Benefits you should consult with an experienced PA Worker Compensation Lawyer.