Can I Be Fired for Misconduct Before a Work Related Injury ?
In Reyes v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (AMTEC), 967 A.2d 1071 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2009), the employer immediately terminated the employee/claimant for pre-accident misconduct once the employer learned of the misconduct. Id. at 1078.
This Court denied the claimant's claim petition because the claimant's wage loss was unrelated to his work injury and disagreed with the claimant's argument "that because his misconduct preceded the work injury, the employer was required to show the availability of light-duty work" pursuant to Brandywine. Id. at 1076. This Court stated:
The fact that the claimant's misconduct occurred one day before he was injured is irrelevant because the employer only learned of the misconduct after the claimant was injured and acted immediately.
Because the employer fired the claimant as soon as it learned of his misconduct, this case is not governed by Brandywine. . . .
In any case, the claimant's Brandywine argument also fails because . . . he never proved a disability, the threshold to a Brandywine inquiry. Id. at 1078.