Computer technician wins claim for accident while driving home
Case name: Corbitt v. Homenet Inc., 28 PAWCLR 128 (Pa. W.C.A.B. 2013).
Ruling: The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board held that the workers' compensation judge did not err in finding that a computer technician was within the course of her employment as a traveling employee and furthering the employer's business when she was injured in a motor vehicle accident.
What it means: In Pennsylvania, an exception to the coming and going rule will apply if the worker was a traveling employee with no fixed place of work or if the worker was furthering the interest of the employer.
Summary: In affirming, the board held that the WCJ did not err in finding a computer technician, who while driving on the route to her home after her last stop with a client, was within the course of her employment as a traveling employee and furthering the employer's business when she was injured in a motor vehicle accident. She had planned on stopping at a hospital on her way home to address a nonwork-related personal bill but was still on the route she would normally take home when the accident occurred. The employer authorized her to take the company vehicle home on the date of her injury. The board found that the technician was furthering the interest of the employer by saving on gas mileage and being available to respond to the needs of clients during the evening hours if necessary. The accident occurred before she deviated from her normal approved routine.
In determining whether the technician was a traveling employee, the board noted that she worked at various client sites in different locations, had a home office where she did paperwork, did not always check in at her employer's office before going to a client site, traveled between 25 and 30 hours out of a 40-hour workweek, and remained on call until the clients' businesses closed for the day.
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October 28, 2013
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