Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of Allegheny Valley School District v. Allegheny Valley Education Association and Francis E. Moxie, No. SA 350 of 1986.
John M. Means, Markel, Schafer & Means, P.C., for appellant.
Ronald N. Watzman, Litman, Litman, Harris, Brown & Watzman, P.C., for appellees.
Judges MacPhail and Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 366]
Allegheny Valley School District (District) has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which affirmed an arbitrator's decision that Francis Moxie (Grievant) was entitled to use accumulated sick leave during an extended absence for a work-related injury. We affirm.*fn1
Grievant, who had thirty-two years of service with the District as a professional employee, suffered a work-related injury on May 8, 1984 while acting as a tennis coach for the District. As a result, Grievant was unable to work from the date of his injury until March 14, 1985. During his absence the District paid Grievant his full salary without loss of accumulated sick leave and
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 367]
Grievant endorsed over to the District the workmen's compensation benefits he received.*fn2
During his tenure with the District prior to the date of injury, Grievant had accumulated 245 1/2 days of sick leave. Grievant sought, and was denied by the District, the right to use this leave during his period of disability. The sole issue on appeal is whether the District could properly prevent Grievant from using his accumulated sick leave during his absence for a work-related injury and, instead, pay him full salary in relief of his disability.
The legal and economic ramifications of this issue are illustrated by two leading cases in this area of the law. In Creighton v. Continental Roll & Steel Foundry Co., 155 Pa. Superior Ct. 165, 173, 38 A.2d 337, 341 (1944), it was held that when an employer pays a disabled employee regularly stated amounts "not as wages or salary for work performed, but in relief of the employee's incapacity to labor," then the employer is entitled to a credit against workmen's compensation benefits paid to the employee. In Temple v. Pennsylvania Department of Highways, 445 Pa. 539, 285 A.2d 137 (1971), however, it was recognized that accrued sick leave is an incident or benefit of one's employment and, thus, constitutes an entitlement akin to wages for work performed. As such, when an employee expends accumulated sick leave and also receives workmen's compensation benefits, the employer is entitled to no credit against those benefits.
Applying these principles to the instant case, it becomes clear that if Grievant is ...