Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 8, 2018 – Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law generally excludes travel to and from work from the commonwealth’s workers’ compensation coverage. However, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board recently added a new exception to the commonwealth’s “going and coming rule.” The going and coming rule generally excludes from coverage injuries sustained while going to or coming from work, including driving or walking.
The appellate board in February 1 affirmed US Airways Inc. and Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. must pay flight attendant Betty Bockelman’s workers’ compensation claim arising from an injury suffered while taking a shuttle to a work-designated parking area. Bockelman had concluded her day of work on Jan. 23, 2015. A shuttle bus owned and operated by a third party transported her from the Philadelphia International Airport terminal to the parking area, which is owned by the city.
A pool of water on the shuttle caused Bockelman to slip and fall and sustain an injury to her left foot. US Airways did not own or control the shuttle or the parking area. Yet, the appeals board affirmed Bockelman’s injury is work-related and covered by workers’ compensation.
“The ruling means when workers arrive at a work-designated parking area, they have arrived at the worksite. Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur afterward, including those from slip-and-fall accidents,” said workplace injury attorney Steven Petrillo.
“The same goes for workers injured while returning to their work-designated parking areas at the end of their work shifts,” Petrillo added. “Until they leave the parking lot, they are at the worksite and should receive workers’ compensation coverage.”
In the ruling, the board said Bockelman’s injury occurred on the employer’s premises, and US Airways requires her presence on the shuttle bus to get from the parking area to the airport terminal. The board also ruled the shuttle’s general condition caused Bockelman’s injury, which occurred in the course of her employment.
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