As more employers look to give their workplace a communal vibe, the line between work and leisure can get blurry. However, the difference between the two can make a huge impact on how a workers’ compensation case is handled if someone gets hurt.
Here are a few questions about the nature of an employee’s injury that you should consider.
Was the employee’s attendance required?
If a production employee was injured while working on the line, it’s easy to see that their injury was related to a task at work. However, if your employee was injured at the office’s annual Christmas party, their attendance was probably not required.
While an office Christmas party may seem related to work, employees would have to be paid for the event if their attendance was required. If their attendance is not required, they do not qualify for workers’ compensation if they are injured while participating.
Did the incident happen on company property?
This question can be tricky. For employees who carry out their job in an office building, company property is typically considered to be the entrance of the building. That means employees who are injured in the parking lot at work cannot seek workers’ compensation.
However, truck drivers can often experience injuries while loading their vehicle, making deliveries or sitting for extended periods of time. These would generally be considered work-related injuries because the actions the trucker is taking directly benefit the company he or she is working for.
Does the activity relate to work?
An employee who fell and was injured while racing another employee up a ladder may arguably not qualify for workers’ compensation because the action that caused the accident was not related to the person’s work.
If the employee had fallen while using the ladder properly to stock an item, route important wiring or another task related to their job, they would be more likely to qualify for benefits.
As an employer, this is why it is important to get individual accounts from all the witnesses at the scene of the accident.
In some situations, you may have varying accounts of what happened to cause an employee’s injury. This can make it difficult to tell whether the incident was work-related.
By recruiting the help of a Workers’ Compensation attorney, you can gain excellent defense tactics to keep from compensating an employee whose injury was not a direct consequence of employment activities.