Burden of Establishing the Allocation of the Consequences of Employee Discharge
In Pappans Family Restaurant v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Ganoe), 729 A.2d 661, 665 (1999), a claimant went back to work, albeit at a different employer, with no loss of wages.
After being let go by the second employer, claimant filed a reinstatement petition and the Court addressed who had the burden of establishing the "allocation of the consequences of discharge" stating:
Our first inquiry is to determine what the proper burden of proof is and who bears that burden.
Normally, a claimant seeking reinstatement of his benefits bears the burden of establishing:
(1) that through no fault of his own, his earning power has again been affected by a work-related injury;
(2) that the disability which gave rise to his original claim continues. Pieper v. Ametek-Thermox Instruments Division, 526 Pa. 25, 584 A.2d 301 (1990).
That analysis, which places the initial burden on the claimant, however, applies to a claimant who is seeking to have his benefits reinstated following suspension.
A suspension of benefits is a suspension of an employer's obligation to pay benefits because, although the claimant may still suffer from a medical disability, there is currently no loss of earnings, i.e., no disability for purposes of the Act, attributable to the work-related injury. Pieper.