Appeal from the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Milton Minus v. Tastykake Baking Co., No. A-85611.
James E. Rafferty, for petitioner.
Howard M. Ellner, for respondent, Tastykake Baking Company.
Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 283]
This is an appeal by Milton Minus (Claimant) from a decision and order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) reversing a referee's decision and dismissing Claimant's petition for lack of jurisdiction. We affirm.
The referee found that Claimant had sustained a work-related injury on March 26, 1982 while in the employ of Tastykake Baking Co. (Employer) and was paid compensation for said injury under the workmen's compensation laws of the state of New Jersey. The referee further found that Claimant is domiciled in New Jersey, that the injury occurred in New Jersey, that Claimant is a sales representative whose sales territory is in New Jersey, and that Claimant at no time had to travel outside New Jersey for his work, instead picking up Employer's goods at the New Jersey distribution point which site is maintained and supervised by Employer. The referee also determined that Employer maintains an office in Philadelphia, that Claimant was hired in Philadelphia approximately fifteen years ago (at which point his duties were different in that he then worked directly out of the Philadelphia office), that all correspondence between Claimant and Employer goes through the Philadelphia office through the regional manager, that Claimant's paycheck originates from the Philadelphia office, and that Claimant's prospective customers are directed to Claimant from the Philadelphia office. Based upon determinations that Employer's principal "base of operation" is in Pennsylvania, and that Claimant's paycheck and supervisory directions emanated from Pennsylvania, the referee decided that Pennsylvania had jurisdiction over Claimant's claim. The Board reversed, premising its decision upon the referee's finding that Claimant regularly worked from the New
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 284]
Jersey location, and thus reasoning that Claimant's employment was "principally located" there.
The issue on appeal to this Court is whether Claimant's employment was principally localized in Pennsylvania or New Jersey pursuant to Section 305.2(a) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn1 77 P.S. § 411.2. Section 305.2(a) provides:
If an employe, while working outside the territorial limits of this State, suffers an injury on account of which he, or in the event of his death, his dependents, would have been entitled to the benefits provided by this act had such injury occurred within this State, such employe, or in the event of his death resulting from such injury, his dependents, shall be entitled to the benefits provided by this act, provided that at the time of such injury:
(1) His employment is principally localized in ...