Superior Court Addresses Issues of Commuting and Ridesharing Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act

Numerous legal issues arise when employees are injured while commuting to work. In National Casualty Co. v. Kinney, the Superior Court (on April 25, 2014) addressed the issue of ridesharing. In particular, the Court held that an employee is not within the course and scope of his or her employment when commuting to work while participating in a ridesharing arrangement in which (1) the employee select a van or van company of his or her choosing, (2) participating employees deal directly with van companies to maximize the value of their vouchers, (3) the employer does not require employees to participate in the arrangement, and (4) participating employees can opt-out at any time. In permitting the plaintiff to proceed with his third party action, the Court affirmed that the third party claim was not barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act; the opinion also provides an excellent overview of the relationship between the Workers’ Compensation Act and Ridesharing Act, 55 P.S. § 695.1, et seq. Click here to read the decision in National Casualty v. Kinney.