Monday, March 21, 2005

Commonwealth Court Holds Employer's Duty to Make Work Available Arises When Claimant Released from Incarceration

In Keys-Pealers, Ltd./Pealer's Flowers v. WCAB (Bricker) the Commonwealth Court reaffirmed the premise that the Employer cannot get a continuing suspension of benefits by referring jobs while the Claimant is incarcerated and ineligible for work release. When the Claimant was released, the Employer's obligation to show work availability arose again.

The Court noted the Claimant was incarcerated for workers' compensation fraud when he took other work without informing the Employer. The court did not discuss the holding in J. Burrell v. WCAB (Philadelphia Gas Works, et al.) and note modification/suspension should be granted based on the Claimant's earnings in the work upon which his conviction was based.

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