Giving Up Sick Leave After a Work-Related Injury

In Temple v. Pennsylvania Department of Highways, 445 Pa. 539, 285 A.2d 137 (1971), our Pennsylvania Supreme Court visited this same issue. In Temple, David L. Temple (Temple) suffered a work-related injury in the course of his employment with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways (DOH). After the injury, DOH's insurer denied liability. Before any hearing on the controversy, Temple was offered sick leave wages, which he was entitled to under the terms of his employment contract. He used forty-one and one-half days of sick leave. It was later determined that Temple was eligible for partial disability benefits. DOH sought a credit for the sick leave Temple received. Temple, 445 Pa. at 540-542, 285 A.2d at 138-139. Our Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the credit request: It must be remembered that this employee gave up his available sick leave pay for the 41A 1/2 day period, so that had he returned to his duties at the end of that period, under the insurance carrier's view in this case it would have paid him nothing for his disability. Yet, claimant Temple would have lost his sick leave which would otherwise have been available to him for none sic work-incurred disabilities which may have occurred thereafter. We have no hesitation in holding that such a construction of the workmen's compensation laws was never intended by the Legislature. . . .Temple, 445 Pa. at 544, 285 A.2d at 140.