We have previously discussed the “coming and going rule” in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, where, essentially, an employee is not covered by the PA Workers’ Compensation Act if he or she is injured while on the commute to or from work. Like most legal rules, of course, there are exceptions. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently addressed this issue.
In Lutheran Senior Services Management Company v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Miller), the injured worker had a serious motor vehicle accident while going in to work. Again, by the general rule, workers’ compensation benefits would not be available to the injured worker. However, this fact pattern has a twist. The injured worker was Director of Maintenance Director of Maintenance for a nursing home facility. There were occasions when he had to come in on a day off to deal with an emergency (he was a salaried employee, not an hourly one). On those occasions, the established practice of the employer was to provide “comp time” for him. The “comp time” would run from when he got paged, to when he got back home.
One day, the injured worker was sick. He planned to call out of work. The employer called him and said a security camera malfunction had to be fixed. None of the three employees working under him were available, so he went into work. On the ride into work, he was involved in the bad car accident.