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Workers’ comp: OK to require immediate accident reports

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Under the state’s workers’ compensation law, Pennsylvania employees have 120 days to report workplace injuries to their employers. But em­­ployers are free to require more immediate reports.

Firing the employee for breaking a timely accident reporting rule doesn’t violate the law.

Recent case: William worked as a bag sealer at Cryovac. He hurt his back at work and two days later, went to his doctor. After having an adverse reaction to the pain medication the doctor prescribed, he took more time off. A supervisor learned the injury was work-related.

Because the company had a policy requiring employees to report all injuries, no matter how minor, William was fired. He sued, alleging he had been fired for being injured.

The court disagreed and said em­­ployers are free to require immediate reporting. (Spring v. Sealed Air Cor­­po­­ra­­tion, No. 11-3828, 3rd Cir., 2012)

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