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Adequate Notice to an Employer to Receive Workers’ Compensation

Under sections 311 and 312 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, when an injury occurs, an employee has 120 days from the day the injury occurred or from when the injured person had notice that the injury was work-related, to notify the employer of the injury to satisfy “employer knowledge”. 77 P.S. § 632.

In the case Gentex Corp. v. W.C.A.B. (Morack), the plaintiff developed injuries from repetitive lifting of helmets and sowing helmets together every day for over 30 years. 23 A.3d 528, 530-33 (Pa. 2013). Eventually, the plaintiff experienced swelling in her hands and legs, with pain so severe that she needed to take time off of work. The same day, she went to her doctor who informed her that the injury was from the constant, repetitive movements she made to complete her tasks at work. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the plaintiff’s voice messages to her employer’s phone, noting she has “work related problems,” were enough notice to satisfy the requirement. The court held that even an imperfect notice can satisfy Section 312, especially if the plaintiff admits that his or her notice was imperfect. Because of this ruling, Pennsylvania courts must look at all of the circumstances surrounding notice, because adequate notice is a fact-intensive inquiry that need not be perfect to suffice as adequate.

Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. handle cases involving Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania. Call 215-574-0600 today or contact us online to schedule a consultation in our Philadelphia office. We represent clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.