Are you covered by Pennsylvania workers' compensation law?

Being involved in a workplace accident can be very disconcerting for a worker in Pennsylvania. Even minor accidents can leave a worker with an injury that forces that person to miss time at work for a week or longer and, when that happens, the worker would be feeling the stress of not only dealing with medical treatment, but also the stress of wondering how those lost wages will be recouped.

One of the first questions that an employee who is injured at work will likely have is, "Am I covered by Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws?" This is a valid question, because it is true that not all employees in Pennsylvania are covered by workers' comp. However, the comforting news is that the vast majority of employees are covered.

Almost every type of employer in Pennsylvania is required to comply with the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act. This includes non-profit employers, corporate employers and even employers who only have a single employee working for them.

However, there are employers in Pennsylvania who are not required to comply with the state law. Federal employers, for example, are not required to comply with the state law. Why is this? It is because those employees are covered by a different workers' compensation system. Railroad employers are another example of an employer that is not required to comply with the state law because they have their own workers' comp system. Knowing whether you are covered by the Pennsylvania state workers' comp laws is the first step in submitting a claim.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, "Workers' Compensation & the Injured Worker," Accessed Sep. 12, 2015

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