The Association's Workers' Compensation Section was established in 1995 to address the specialized needs of lawyers practicing workers' compensation law. The section maintains a number of subcommittees providing opportunities for lawyers to learn, enhance their skills, and serve their community: Arts in the Court, Community Service and Charitable Events, Continuing Legal Education (CLE), Diversity and Inclusion, Events, Fundraising, Liaison, and Marketing and Communications.
The Arts in the Court subcommittee was formed in 2008 in anticipation of the 100th Anniversary of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act in 2015. The subcommittee commissioned eight paintings of iconic Philadelphia companies to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act and to educate the public regarding the role of labor and industry in the City of Philadelphia. These paintings are displayed at the Philadelphia District Office of the Department of Labor of Industry - Office of Adjudication located at 110 N. 8th Street, Suite 401, Philadelphia, PA.
The Community Service and Charitable Events subcommittee is actively involved in service to the community in addition to various charitable events held throughout the year. The subcommittee has arranged collections of needed supplies and goods for community organizations such as Aid for Friends, St. John's Hospice, Women against Abuse, PAWS, Philabundance, and Toys for Tots. Also, the subcommittee periodically provides volunteers to serve lunch at the St. John's Hospice Day Services Program, which provides over 325 meals each weekday to homeless men.
The Continuing Legal Education subcommittee assists Tara D. Phoenix, the Bar Association's Director of Continuing Legal Education, with the Section's “lunch and learn” CLE programs, which are held in conjunction with the Section's monthly General Membership meetings. These programs span a broad range of topics of interest to workers' compensation law practitioners and provide Section members with the opportunity to obtain the annual continuing legal education substantive and ethic credits required for practicing attorneys in Pennsylvania.
The Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee was created in 2015 to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and to enhance opportunities for all attorneys. The subcommittee educates the Section on diversity and inclusion issues, develops strategies for the recruitment and retention of diverse individuals, and engages in community outreach in conjunction with other subcommittees.
The Events and Fundraising subcommittees assist in the planning and funding of the Section's social activities. In addition to the Workers' Compensation Awards luncheon, the Section hosts an annual Spring Reception and December holiday celebration, which are well attended by attorneys, Workers' Compensation Judges, and the Commissioners of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. Due to the efforts of the Fundraising subcommittee, the Section is able to make annual donations to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, Philadelphia VIP, and Kids' Chance.
The Liaison subcommittee consists of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors, Law school, Legislative, and Young Lawyers' division liaisons. These liaisons function as the official contacts between the Section and organizations, schools and the legislature. The liaisons provide an important communication function for the Section and keep the Section current on all issues of importance to the Section.
The Marketing and Communications subcommittee was founded in 2015 to train the incoming Executive Board chairs regarding their upcoming duties, to market the activities of the Section, and to communicate with the Section membership and the public consistent with the objectives of the current Executive Board chairs and the agenda of the current Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The Subcommittee communicates with the General membership through the Section's listserv and articles published in the Philadelphia Bar Reporter and The Philadelphia Lawyer along with other publications.
Each year, the Section holds the Workers' Compensation Awards luncheon in April to present all awards given by the Section. The Martha J. Hampton award is presented annually to the attorney or judge who best exemplifies unique compassion and dedication to her clients, and her professionalism, scholarship and good will with her peers. In conjunction with the award, a charitable contribution is made each year on behalf of the Section, to Kids' Chance, an organization helping students who have lost a parent to a work-related injury to gain a higher level of education. The Irvin Stander Award is also presented on an annual basis at this luncheon. This award is given by the Section in memory of Workers' Compensation Judge Irvin Stander, a Philadelphia Judge who was well known for his prolific writings on workers' compensation and zoning law. The Irvin Stander Award recognizes an outstanding graduating law student who has demonstrated legal acumen or scholarship in the areas of administrative or workers' compensation law. The recipient of this prestigious award receives a $2,500.00 prize to defray the cost of the annual bar examination, as well as a plaque commemorating this honor. In addition to the aforementioned awards, the Executive Board of the Section periodically approves other awards such as the Lifetime Achievement award and Friend of the Philadelphia Bar Association – Workers' Compensation award, which honor outstanding contributions to the Section.