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December 27, 2011

by Sharon F. Harvey, Esquire

The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for workers who are injured on the job. Consequently, the employer of an injured worker is immune from a civil suit. However, some employees can actually have more than one employer. This situation may arise when an accident occurs on a construction site where workers of various trades come onto the job site and their activities are controlled by the general contractor. A general contractor who attains the status of a statutory employer is also entitled to immunity from civil suit for negligence claims. Section 52 of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act (hereinafter the Act) sets forth the "statutory employer" defense. The Act states as follows: