Calculating the 120-Day Work Injury Notice | Chartwell Law

question: When is 121 = 120?

reply: If the 120th day of reporting an industrial accident under Section 311 of the PA WC Act falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday.

In Holy Redeemer Hosp. Systems versus WCAB (Figueroa), Pa. Comm w. No. 372 CD 2020, filed December 31, 2020, the applicant was working as an ER nurse in a hospital that was open 24/7, 365 days a year. She announced her work accident on the 121st day after her work accident, a Monday.

The Commonwealth Court was asked to determine whether the applicant’s motion was disqualified by the PA Workers’ Compensation Act’s 120-day notice period. The employer argued that the applicant could easily have quit on the 120th day, Sunday, or earlier. The employer also argued that Section 311 of the PA WC Act was clear on the 120-day notice requirement.

The court looked beyond the PA WC Act and to Section 1908 of the Statutory Construction Act of 1972, which states:

If any reference is made in any statute to a specific period, that period shall apply in all cases, provided that Section 1909 of this Title (relating to publication for consecutive weeks) and Section 1910 of this Title (relating to the calculation of months) nothing else is calculated in such a way that the first and the last day of such a period are excluded. Whenever the last day of such a period falls on a Saturday or Sunday, or a day that has been made a public holiday under the laws of this Commonwealth or the United States, that day will be omitted from the calculation.

Since the last day of the 120-day period specified in Section 311 fell on Sunday, the court did not take this day into account when calculating 120. Accordingly, the court ruled that the applicant gave notice in good time.

You can read the entire verdict Here.

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