Workers' Comp In-Cites
Welcome to the latest edition of Schaff & Young's Workers' Comp In-Cites. Designed to provide our clients with practical insight, Workers' Comp In-Cites outlines recent developments in Pennsylvania workers' compensation law and explains how those decisions impact our clients and their cases. Barbara Young, Michael Schaff and the other attorneys at Schaff & Young, P.C. are always available to discuss these cases or any other questions or concerns you might have. Just give us a call at (215) 988-0090 or send an email to info@schaffyoung.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
Time, In and Of Itself, Is a Sufficient Basis for a Physical Examination
There is no need to allege a specific reason in support of a Petition to Compel Physical Examination. The mere passage of time constitutes a reasonable basis for granting a petition under Section 314 of the Act according to the Commonwealth Court in Davis v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Woolworth Corporation).

August 2007 Edition
Volume 1
Number 8
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No Credit for Sick Leave Benefits Used by a Claimant While Waiting for Approval of a Workers' Compensation Claim
In Bartholetti v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (School District of Philadelphia), the Commonwealth Court ruled that an employer is not entitled to a credit for sick leave benefits used by a claimant during the initial period of disability before a claim has been deemed compensable. The Court also ruled that, because a claimant's average weekly wage is based upon his or her annual income, a seasonally-employed claimant is entitled to weekly compensation benefits regardless of the period of the year in which the claimant regularly worked.

Penalties May be Awarded for Failing to Pay Medical Bills
A fee review request is not an employee's sole remedy when an employer fails to pay medical bills in a timely manner, and is not a condition precedent to the imposition of penalties. Consequently, in Hough v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (AC&T Companies), the Commonwealth Court ruled that there is no requirement that a provider must seek a fee review before a claimant may proceed on a penalty petition alleging untimely payment of medical bills.

Pay Awards Promptly
The Courts continue to award penalties when an award is not paid promptly. In Graphic Packaging, Inc. v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Zink), the Commonwealth Court held that an Employer violates the Act if it does not begin to make payments within 30 days of the date on which its obligation to pay arises. Only a grant of supersedeas will obviate an employer's obligation to pay compensation. Absent a supersedeas, the employer carries the burden of paying workers' compensation benefits during the litigation period.

Work Injury-Related Absences Do Not Qualify as a Bad Faith Basis For Suspending Payment of Compensation Benefits
When a Claimant's absences are related to a work-related injury, they are not "unexcused." Thus, as the Commonwealth Court held in Shop Vac Corporation v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Thomas), a claimant's discharge under these circumstances for alleged violations of the employer's attendance policy does not constitute willful misconduct or bad faith.