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Pearson Koutcher Law Attorney Jonathan B. Koutcher wins important decision regarding bonuses.

  • Jon Koutcher
  • 06/25/2013

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation attorney Jonathan B. Koutcher of Pearson Koutcher Law recently won a decision from a Workers’ Compensation Judge concerning the bonus received by employee and increased the average weekly wage and corresponding weekly compensation rate. The situation was somewhat unique and represented an area of the law not yet reported by higher courts.

In this case, the injured worker sustained a severe and debilitating lower back injury requiring multiple surgical procedures. The injured worker was a sales person for a car dealership. The injured worker would receive bonuses based upon certain performance levels achieved. However, the bonuses were not paid by the actual dealership for whom the injured worker was employed; instead, the bonuses were paid by the parent, manufacturing company which supplied cars to the dealership.

Mr. Koutcher presented the injured worker to testify numerous times before the Workers’ Compensation Judge, detailing her specific job duties at the dealership, how the dealership controlled the activities of the injured worker and how the dealership benefited from the activities performed by the injured worker at the dealership level. The key part of the case was Mr. Koutcher being able to specifically show how the employer (dealership) received a benefit for all of the activities performed by the injured worker which qualified the injured worker for the bonus from the manufacturer.

In Pennsylvania, the average weekly wage of an injured worker is governed by section 309 of the Worker’s Compensation Act. For earnings to qualify under section 309 as wages, the earnings must emanate from an employment relationship. A bonus can be considered as section 309 wages.

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