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Workers' Compensation Archives

New Workers' Compensation Ruling

A monumental new decision was recently issued by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has forever changed the way that injured workers are protected, and for the better. In Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District), No. 6 WAP 2016 and No. 7 WAP 2016, 6/20/2017, the Supreme Court declared Section 306(a.2) of the Workers' Compensation Act unconstitutional. Section 306(a.2) provided that, after paying for 104 weeks of total disability benefits, an employer could request that the claimant submit to an I.R.E., or an impairment rating evaluation, to determine the claimant's degree of impairment. If that degree of impairment is deemed to be less than 50 percent, then a claimant's amount of compensation would be reduced to 500 weeks. Because of this holding, no I.R.E. has any force in the state of Pennsylvania at present.

Will you have to wait out a work-related back injury?

Back injuries are one of the most common work-related injuries. People who work in physical jobs--for example in warehouses or fulfillment plants where they may be required to bend, lift and twist on a regular basis-- are at a particular risk for strains, sprains, slipped discs and other conditions that can cause low back pain and keep a worker sidelined. When that happens, many workers depend on workers' compensation to pay for their medical bills and lost wages. But new guidelines from the American College of Physicians state that low back pain should be treated with rest instead of medication or surgery. This could change the way workers' comp pays for these injuries. 

Is Your Employer Trying to Dodge Workplace Injury Reporting Regulations?

No one wants to think that their employer would not meet its obligation to its employees. But some employers fail to follow the laws related to reporting workplace injuries. A study completed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) found that as many as 50% of severe injuries go unreported. Under the law, which went into effect January of 2015, employers are required to report any work-related hospitalization, amputation or eye loss within 24 hours of the incident. But this doesn't seem to be happening in many cases.

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