Is It Legal to Fire for Poor Job Performance Before a Work Related Injury ?
In Brandywine Mazda Suzuki v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Asman), 872 A.2d 253 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2005), the claimant, who suffered a work-related injury on July 13, 2001, was terminated on July 24, 2001 for inadequacies in his job performance that had occurred and which employer was aware of prior to his injury. the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) suspended the claimant's benefits without requiring the employer to show job availability because the WCJ determined that any loss of earnings after November 19, 2001, the time in which he could return to work without restrictions, was not due to the work injury.
The Board reversed the WCJ's decision and held that, because the claimant's substandard job performance occurred prior to his work injury, the claimant's loss of earnings resulted from disability due to the work injury, and benefits could not be suspended absent proof of available work.
The Court affirmed.