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It depends. Many employers in Pennsylvania require a resignation from the pre-injury employer as part of a global Pennsylvania Work Comp Settlement which is called a “Compromise & Release“. While a resignation has no bearing on whether the settlement will be approved by the Work Comp Judge, (the Judge has no jurisdiction over the issue), many employers require a resignation so that they can be assured that the injured worker will not seek re-employment with them. In fact, the resignation language is usually something like this: “I, John Doe, hereby resign my employment with Employer as of ___ and agree not to seek re-employment with Employer…” The idea from the employer’s perspective is that they want to part ways with the employee- in most cases, my clients don’t object to parting ways either due to ongoing tension, or an inability of the employer to accommodate the restrictions, or due to hostility from cynical co-workers, etc.
Most employers will also bargain for language that states the resignation is voluntary. This has implications with respect to Unemployment Compensation. If an injured worker voluntarily resigns from employment, he/she will not be eligible for Unemployment Compensation as it will be deemed a voluntary quit. If the employer does not wish to contest an application for Unemployment, you may be able to bargain for language that carves out an exception to this concept by asserting that the voluntary resignation is due to the work injuries and the fact that the employer could not accommodate the worker’s restrictions.
The resignation issue can frustrate some injured workers as some of them have already been terminated or laid off prior to the PA Work Comp Settlement. Signing a resignation with a Compromise & Release Agreement can feel like overkill. However, it can also be a positive thing as it allows an injured worker to tell a prospective employer that he/she resigned rather than being fired.
If you are working with a new employer at the time of your PA Work Comp Settlement, resignation from that employment is not relevant- only with the pre-injury employer.
If you have questions about the effect of a resignation and your PA Work Comp Settlement, call or email me 7 days a week at (215)206-9068 or Michael@cardamonelaw.com
-Michael W. Cardamone, Certified PA Work Comp Law Specialist
The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC– 100% For Injured Workers In Pennsylvania