For workers who travel as part of their jobs, workers’ compensation covers certain kinds of injuries involved with the travel itself — no question about that. Then, there’s this case …
An Australian woman who was injured while having sex on a business trip is suing her employer for workers’ compensation benefits.
The government worker, whose name has been withheld, was required to travel in Australia and stay overnight to attend a budget review meeting early the next day.
The woman suffered injuries to her nose, mouth and a tooth, as well as psychiatric injury, when a wall-mounted lamp in the motel where she was staying fell on her head during sex.
The employee’s claim is based on the assertion that she suffered the injuries “during the course of her employment” because she was required to travel.
The woman is appealing a previous decision that the sex was not an “ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping or eating” which would be covered for a travelling employee.
A lawyer for the government says there wasn’t enough connection between the incident and what the woman was being employed to do. The government agency she works for says the woman was having sex with “an acquaintance, who had no connection with her work.” (Would that have made a difference?)
Specifically, the government says its employee’s sexual activity was “not obviously involved” in her requirement for an overnight stay, was not of any benefit to the employer, was “a frolic of her own,” and “took her outside the course of her employment.” (Glad we cleared that up.)
The woman’s lawyer doesn’t see it that way. He said it was similar to slipping in the shower of your motel room while on a business trip.
Do you think there’s any reason this employee should receive workers’ comp benefits for her injuries? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below. (And if you’re a reader in Australia, mention that in your comment.)