Thursday, August 21, 2008

Commonwealth Court holds home health nurse is traveling employee from her home to patient's home

In L. Jamison v. WCAB (Gallagher Home Health Services) the Claimant worked as a home health nurse. She also worked for another home health service and a mortgage company. Gallagher Home Health Services (Gallagher) allowed the Claimant to pursue her other employment and personal errands during the work day. She was paid by Gallagher only for the time spent with a patient. She received mileage reimbursement when she left one patient's home to travel to another's.

The Claimant was injured in an auto accident on her way from her home to the home of Gallagher's patient. The WCJ found the Claimant was not in the scope of employment because she could be working for any employer on a given day. The Board affirmed, but the Commonwealth Court reversed. The Court stated the record showed the Claimant was going to the home of Gallagher's patient. If the record showed she was going somewhere else, there could have been an abandonment of employment, but that was not the case.

The Claimant's travel was necessary to provide in-home care, the Claimant did not have to report to the Employer's main office before or after the visit, and the Claimant had no fixed place of employment. Accordingly, she was in traveling employee status with Gallagher when she was injured while driving from her home to the patient's home.

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