Farrell, Michael A

Memorandum: Employer Provided Vaccination Programs and Compensability under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act

There is no Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court or Pennsylvania Supreme Court case law on the question of the compensability of an “injury” sustained as a result of an employer administered vaccination program, regardless of whether the program is voluntary or mandatory.  However, there are several cases on point before the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.  The cases indicate that where the vaccination program is mandatory, then finding that the injury was in the course and scope of employment is basically automatic. Where the vaccine was administered by the employer through a voluntary vaccination program, the question turns on whether or not the employee was furthering the interests of the employer by voluntarily agreeing to an employer administered vaccination.

Attorneys Farrell and Edwards Successfully Defend Workers’ Compensation Challenge for Client

The Court decided in Attorneys Farrell and Edward’s favor that the Workers’ Compensation Judge does not have jurisdiction to review a Utilization Review Determination where the Provider under review fails to provide medical records to the reviewer. The Court also held that denying the Claimant the right to a hearing did not violate the Claimant’s right to due process because the Claimant does not have a property interest in his future medical treatment.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decides the Protz Case

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down its decision in Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District). The Protz decision rendered unconstitutional, Section 306(a)(2) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, eliminating the use of an impairment rating evaluation in order to change the disability status of an injured worker from total to partial thereby limiting the injured worker to 500 weeks of benefits.