As per the Governor's shut down we are working remotely, however rest assured that we are still working to protect your rights! Please email us at dbrilliant@bnlegal.com for Dina Brilliant and gneiman@bnlegal.com for Glenn Neiman or call us at (215) 638-7500 and leave a message as we are checking our messages.

A new Frequently Asked Question has been, "I have the Coronavirus, can I get workers' compensation benefits?" The answer is that, yes, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits depending on the facts. This can be whether you have contracted COVID-19 through work, or whether you have lost a modified duty job through an employer closing or layoff. Email or call us to discuss the specifics of your case in regard to the Coronavirus or any other work injury.

PA Workers’ Comp Law Expands Definition of “Employee”

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, to be eligible for PA workers’ comp benefits, the disabled person must be an “employee.” Often, this is obvious and not even in question. There are times, however, when a case turns on whether, in fact, the injured person was truly an “employee.” We most often see this situation when the issue is whether the injured worker was an “employee” or an “independent contractor.”

The analysis, to determine whether someone was an “employee” or an “independent contractor,” depends on the facts in each case. It frequently becomes a very complicated issue, requiring multiple depositions and extensive litigation.

At least some of this situation will be easier to determine, now that the Pennsylvania Legislature passed Act 72 of 2010, on October 13, 2010 (This is listed as House Bill 400). The law will take effect 2/11/11. While this law applies only to the construction industry, we expect that to be read broadly, to include roofing, plumbing and other related areas.

Under Act 72, an injured worker (in the construction industry) will be considered an “independent contractor” only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) the individual has a written contract to perform such services;
(2) the individual is free from control or direction over performance of such services both under the contract of service and in fact; and
(3) as to such services, the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.

This law should significantly limit an employer’s ability to try and escape liability under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act, and make it easier for injured workers in the construction industry to get the workers’ comp benefits they need.