A recent ruling in Pennsylvania denying an injured man workers’ compensation benefits should leave many people scratching their heads about how well workers are treated. The man was fired from his job after it was discovered that he had a loaded weapon inside a company vehicle, and his benefits were cut off.
According to reports, the man, who drove a delivery truck, fell and broke his ankle while attempting to get out of the truck. Only 10 days later, the man was fired after his employer allegedly found a loaded handgun in the truck. The employer then sought permission to end workers’ compensation benefits, arguing that the man’s injury was healed and he was fired for violating rules.
A workers’ compensation judge denied the attempt to stop paying benefits, however, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board reversed that decision, arguing that the employee’s firing was proper because he violated company rules without properly explaining why he did so. The board suspended the man’s benefits retroactive to the day he was fired.
It is unknown why the man carried a gun in his truck. Perhaps he felt his safety was so threatened while performing his job that he felt like he needed to be armed? Either way, it seems a little unbelievable that the employer why try to say that the man recovered from a broken ankle so quickly.
What this means is that benefits can stop, even if you are injured through no fault of your own. This can drastically affect your financial situation if you’re unable to work because of injury.
Source: Risk & Insurance Online, “Carrying loaded handgun in company truck cuts off benefits,” Sept. 27, 2012