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Is it Legal? Pennsylvania

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  • Is it Legal? Pennsylvania

    Hi,
    I work in the automotive industry as a mechanic in Pennsylvania. I hurt myself working on a car with one of the lifts. I have gouges and scratches on my face. My boss told me I had to "take care of that on my own time" in regards to my injuries, and the underlying tone was that I would be fired if I left work! Is that legal? I understand I may not be paid for leaving work to see a doctor, but NOT being allowed to leave work to see a doctor for injuries sustained at work while working??!!? Someone please shed some light on this for me!

  • #2
    That may be a potential workers' compensation injury, which may or may not be worth pursuing depending on the injury. You should call a lawyer - you can usually get a consultation for free. Employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance and to refer you to a WC doctor or allow you to go to one if they don't provide a list of doctors.

    Comment


    • #3
      No, you don't have to be giving time off work to go to the doctor. If it is an emergency and your employer sends you for care, the time must be paid but if it is your choice to go or not, it need not be paid. Since you didn't ask to go to the doctor, you don't know that you would not have been permitted. Underlying tones are not the same as refusing to allow you to get treatment. Even if he did say you could not go during work hours, it would not be illegal.

      While you can hire a lawyer, there isn't anything for one to do at this point.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        ElleMD is right in that the employer doesn't have to allow you to get treatment during worktime.

        Someone who worked directly for WC and is an attorney opined that if you did ask the employer about going to a doctor and they refuse, then it is a violation of the Pa. WC Act for failure to report a work injury to the carrier which would result in penalties and unreasonable contest for claims the wc insurance carrier would be liable for. Penalties are up to 50% of what is due and unreasonable contest means the carrier would have to pay the any attorney’s fees for the litigation. This only happens if the you would be successful. The employer is not directly penalized but would indirectly suffer when insurance renewal comes up as these events generally affect their experience rating and their costs go up.

        As far as treatment during work time, if the medical treatment is only available during working hours, the Claimant would be entitled for indemnity benefits subject to the waiting period for time missed from work. Obviously, emergency treatment should be addressed right away but the employer does not have to pay wages for lost time from wc claims.

        Employers enjoy some immunity because the penalties always seem to be assessed against the carrier (unless there is no insurance).

        Comment


        • #5
          Small clarification. If the employee asks to go to the doctor and it is a non-emergency and the employer tells them to go after work, it is not a violation. If they refuse to allow them to seek medical treatment at all and fail to report it to the carrier, then it becomes a violation. Nothing in the WC Code requires that the treatment be rendered immediately or when the employee asks for it. It may be a best practice to do so, but it isn't required.

          TPD is not due for regular doctor's appointments during work hours in any state.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

          Comment

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