Pennsylvania Employment Law Update – November 2018

Pennsylvania

Workers’ Compensation

On October 24, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation (H.B. 1840) amending the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act by defining an employer’s liability to pay damages for employee injuries occurring during the course of employment. The law establishes an elective schedule of compensation and provides a procedure for the determination of liability and compensation under that schedule. Of note, the law lowered the impairment rating to 35 percent for an employee to be presumed to be totally disabled and thus continue to receive total disability compensation benefits.

The law also addresses medical examinations, employee compensation, and the appeal process, and provides new definitions for impairment and impairment rating. In addition, the law increases the reasonable expense of burial (in the case of an employee’s death) from $3,000 to $7,000, which must be paid by the employer or insurer directly to the undertaker (without deduction of any amounts paid for compensation or for medical expenses).

The law became effective October 24, 2018.

Read PA H.B 1840

Workers’ Compensation Clarifications

On October 24, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation (S.B. 676) clarifying procedures for when an employee is injured on the job but is working for an employer domiciled in another state and thus uninsured by the state fund. The law also addresses limitations on wage loss payments, annual assessment increase of the state fund, and uninsured employer obligations.

The law became effective October 24, 2018.

Read PA S.B. 676