New proposed change to the PA Workers’ Comp Act

Once again the Pennsylvania legislature is working to limit injured workers’ rights. This time it’s not with broad sweeping changes, but in small increments, almost as if they do not want to be noticed. Namely, they’re seeking to double the length of the “captive period” from 90 to 180 days.

Just so we’re clear, 180 days is six months!

Any reader of this blog will know what the “captive period” is in workers’ compensation cases. It’s the 90 days during which you must treat with the employer’s choice of physician after a work injury. Readers will also know that this period may not apply to every case. Nevertheless, House Bill 808

The Legislature’s rationale in considering this change is to control “employee malingering”. They argue that a doctor chosen by the employer is far more likely to limit care. We maintain, however, that a doctor chosen by the employee is more interested in treating a patient instead of an employee of the employer that decides if he gets paid.

House Bill 808 has now passed through the Labor and Industry Committee, with only one vote dissenting out of 25 committee members. Its next step is the floor of the House. We urge you to contact your local representative to let them know that Employers should not call the shots in your medical care!

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