Three-day delay in delivery of indemnity check doesn't justify penalty
Frank v. The Hertz Corp., 24 PAWCLR 77 (Pa. W.C.A.B. 2009).
The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board reversed a workers' compensation law judge's grant of a penalty award for an untimely payment.
What it means: For a penalty to be imposed on the employer for a delay in the employee's benefits payment, the employer must have unreasonably or excessively delayed the payment.
The board found that the WCLJ should not have imposed a penalty on the employer. The employee filed a penalty petition for the untimely payment of an indemnity benefits check in the amount of $1,261.80. The employee received the indemnity check three days after the due date. Because of the delay in depositing the check, the employee incurred bank late charges of $205. The WCJ awarded a 50 percent penalty for a late payment and ordered the employer to reimburse the bank late charges. The board reversed the grant of the petition and award of late fees. It found that the employee's testimony that he normally would receive his checks on Mondays but did not receive the check at issue until Thursday did not establish a violation of the Workers' Compensation Act upon which a penalty could be assessed. Furthermore, the passage of three days did not amount to an unreasonable or excessive delay.
June 22, 2009
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