In light of a recent court decision, you might be paying workers’ comp for employees who are injured while they’re on break.
Here’s what happened:
An employee was on his paid 15-minute break, and he was required to stay on site.
The worker played basketball using a hoop and court on company property and injured his knee. Then, he filed for comp.
The company argued it shouldn’t have to pay because the worker was engaged in voluntary recreational activity.
But the court disagreed.
He was on the clock
The court said the injury technically arose during the course of employment.
How so? The worker was on the clock. Although he wasn’t paid to participate in the game, he was getting paid while participating, so the company had to pay comp.
While workers’ comp laws vary from state to state, in many cases, companies will have to pay if a worker is injured in recreational, social or athletic injuries if they happen during the course of employment. For example, you might have to pay comp for an injury if:
- The activity took place on company premises during lunch or a recreational event
- Your company required participation, or
- Your company received direct benefit from the worker’s participation, such as advertising the company logo on shirts or hats during games or practice.
Has your company ever been forced to pay a questionable comp claim? Tell us about it in the Comments Box below. You don’t have to give your company’s name.