Numerous injuries have straightforward eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation coverage. The office worker who is struck on the head by an object that fell from a shelf was clearly injured on the job and can file a claim. The person who tears a ligament while playing pickup basketball during their lunch hour is clearly not covered. When are off-site injuries compensable for workers’ compensation?
The workers’ compensation act specifies the eligibility requirements: the injury must have been sustained “in the course and scope of employment.” This applies if three conditions are met: the injury occurred during work hours, in a location where the employee would be while performing their duties, and while the employee was performing those duties or doing something reasonably related to them.
As is the case with many facets of the law, the application of what appears straightforward on paper can be complicated. However, it is essential to note that the location of the injury has no bearing on its eligibility for workers’ compensation. If requiring an employee to be directly on the employer’s property were a condition of eligibility, construction workers and others who perform inherently dangerous work off-site would be ineligible. Even if you work remotely from a desk in your home office, you are still eligible for workers’ compensation if the conditions above are met.
To better comprehend how eligibility principles operate in the real world, consider the following hypothetical yet plausible scenarios:
- A person is injured while driving to or from the office
Strictly speaking, commuting is not considered part of the job description. The employee is not considered to be working, eliminating the first eligibility requirement. What if, however, an employee was requested to run errands for their supervisor? Or what if they were making a stop for work on their way home? Now, it is possible to argue that the eligibility requirements have been met. Our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers are responsible for making this case.
- An employee is injured at a company picnic
Even if a picnic is not in fact a required activity, such events frequently carry the perception of requirement, which in the eyes of workers’ compensation may be sufficient. In fact, in the incident on the grounds that the company may be held liable for her injury.
- The employee is injured at a social event with co-workers
A group of employees goes out after work. Let’s say a new employee feels compelled to join them in order to fit in with their co-workers or possibly increase their chances of promotion. They sustain an injury while out and about. Is it protected? In this case, the answer is likely not. The perception (or even reality) of peer pressure in the workplace is not on par with pressure from management. Therefore, it is unlikely that the employee’s actions would fall within the scope of their job responsibilities.
Pistiolas Law. is led by a team of tenacious litigators and devoted legal assistants who are familiar with the requirements for proving a workers’ compensation claim and securing the appropriate benefits. If you or a loved one needs assistance and advice, do not hesitate to contact us. To schedule a consultation, please call (844) 414-1768.