When an employee is harmed in a work-related accident, a responsible and ethical employer will honor and support that employee’s right to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, not all employers do this in all circumstances. In some cases, employers drag their feet and oppose legitimate workers’ compensation claims. A recent decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania is a good reminder of the resistance employer’s sometimes put up to workers’ compensation claims.

The court ruled that a former gas station manager who died in April 2010 as a result of injuries he sustained in attempting to stop a robber should have been awarded workers’ compensation benefits prior to his death. The employer had opposed an initial award of benefits on the grounds that the employee was not acting within the scope of his employment when attempted to stop the robber. 

That argument was rejected by the Commonwealth Court, which said that pursuing a robber is not so far outside the scope of a gas station manager’s duties that it could be considered abandoning the job. It is fortunate that the decision was in favor of the deceased employee, but unfortunate that it came too late. Hopefully the case will have some sort of positive impact on others like it in the future.

Employers often have other concerns competing with the safety and compensation of injured employees. Employees who experience problems with their employer in filing a workers’ compensation claim really ought to work with an experienced attorney to determine the best course of action to ensure they receive the benefits due to them. 

Source: Business Insurance, “Gas station manager hurt during robbery due workers’ comp benefits: Court,” Stephanie Goldberg, May 29, 2014.