Misconduct discharge could disqualify from workers’ compensation

In a recent case, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board reversed a judge’s decision in regards to workplace misconduct and workers’ compensation. A driver’s discharge, which resulted from a violation of his company’s weapons policy, did not necessitate his benefits being suspended.

A delivery truck driver was injured on the job. 10 days later, he was terminated, after his employer found a loaded weapon in his truck, a clear violation of the weapons policy. As the driver’s misconduct directly contributed to his dismissal from his job.

For Pennsylvania workers, this means that if a worker commits misconduct and is discharged, he is unable to receive compensation for loss of earnings.

It is important for workers to abide by their company policies at all time, so as not to risk a loss of benefits. If the worst should happen, and an employee is injured on the job, they may be unable to collect workers’ compensation if they are found to be in some kind of violation of policy. It is in the best interest of the worker, regardless of their feelings toward policy, to abide by it in order to guarantee their benefits in a worst-case scenario.

For workers who feel they have been wrongfully terminated, it can be a difficult decision whether or not to pursue an appeal. Speaking with a qualified employee rights attorney can be an excellent resource to help you to know your rights and your options. Workers’ compensation benefits can be pursued if an injury occurs on the job, so be sure to consult an attorney if you are injured, as soon as possible, to protect your rights.

Source: Risk&Insurance.com, “Carrying loaded handgun in company truck cuts of benefits,” Sept. 27, 2012

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