Ride from office to work location doesn't implicate Ridesharing Act
Marshall v. Schaeffer Staffing, 24 PAWCLR 160 (Pa. W.C.A.B. 2009).
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeals Board reversed the workers' compensation judge's denial of the employee's claim petition. The board remanded for computation of benefits due and payable.
What it means: The Workers' Compensation Act does not apply to a passenger injured while participating in a ridesharing arrangement between his residence and place of employment. However, when an employer congregates its employees at its place of business and then transports them to the work site, the employees are considered to be in the scope of their employment during the ride and the Workers' Compensation Act applies.
The employee worked as a laborer and machine operator through a temporary staffing service. Each day, the employee walked from his home to the employer's office. From there, the employer transported the employee and other workers by van to the work site. On the way to the work site, the van hit a bump, causing the back of the van to hop upward and the employee to hit his head on the top of the van. He injured his back as a result.
The workers' compensation judge dismissed the employee's claim petition, concluding that Pennsylvania's Ridesharing Act precluded the claim as a matter of law. The appeals board reversed the WCJ, finding that the van transportation provided by the employer did not constitute van pooling or ridesharing as defined by the Ridesharing Act because the employee traveled from his home to the employer's office entirely on his own, by foot.
The act defines a ridesharing arrangement to include transportation of employees to or from their place of employment in a vehicle owned or operated by their employer. That act says that the Workers' Compensation Act does not apply to a passenger injured while participating in a ridesharing agreement between the passenger's residence and place of employment. The employer gathered its employees at its office and then transported them to the remote work location. The employee was not injured while ridesharing between his place of residence and place of employment. The board further concluded that the WCJ erred by determining that the claimant was not in the scope and course of his employment at the time of his injury.
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November 23, 2009
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