Workers Because We Care
About Injured Workers
At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, thanks to the leadership of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Workers’ Compensation Bureau’s Director of Adjudication, Joseph DeRita, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Worker’s Compensation system quickly shifted to a virtual practice and Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system became a model for those around the country. While the majority of courts were closed for business, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system did not miss a beat. Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation Bar was uniquely positioned to make such a smooth transition because, in 2013, the entire system had moved to an electronic platform called the Workers’ Compensation Automation and Integration System (WCAIS). Ms. Joseph is highly skilled at navigating WCAIS and has over 550 cases on this electronic platform. When an injured worker hires Ms. Joseph, she will enter her appearance in WCAIS and with just a few strokes of a keyboard, Ms. Joseph can start digging into the injured worker’s claims file to develop the best strategy for the case.
Over the next several years, workers’ compensation lawyers and injured workers throughout Pennsylvania, benefited from a Hybrid practice model. Virtual hearings on the Microsoft Teams platform have allowed for a more efficient practice so attorneys can focus on practicing law, rather than traveling up and down the Pennsylvania turnpike. Attorneys representing injured workers, employers, and workers’ compensation insurance companies have the option of requesting in-person hearings, but this new Hybrid practice allows Ms. Joseph to spend more time helping her clients who are suffering from life-changing injuries and aggressively advocating on their behalf to secure all of the benefits to which they are entitled under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
As the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation practice shifted to this Hybrid model, Ms. Joseph continued to be a leader in the Bar, attending important stakeholder meetings and chairing a committee that developed model rules for handling electronic depositions. She presented a seminar in Hershey, Pennsylvania with judges from Lehigh, Bucks, and Erie Counties called “Ethical Considerations for a Virtual Practice of Law” that was so well received by about 500 workers’ compensation attorneys, Workers’ Compensation Judges, and Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board Commissioners, that this has now become an annual program at the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Fall Section Meeting.
With over a quarter of a century of experience as a workers’ compensation attorney, securing millions of dollars for injured workers in our commonwealth, Ms. Joseph has the skills and expertise necessary to advocate for injured workers and protect their rights to benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.