No matter where you are found while working for your employer, if you are injured, you will still be covered under workers’ compensation. The most common away-from-work injuries occur through transportation accidents, whether it be driving trucks for transporting products and materials, flying to a corporate meeting, or attending local meetings put together by your employer.
Accidents on the road will happen, particularly when bad weather is involved. For businesses who run their own fleet of transport vehicles, from vans to 18-wheelers, an accident while making deliveries, means the driver and any other employee in the passenger seat (and other employees) will be covered by workers’ compensation.
The one transportation occurrence not covered by workers’ compensation is when an employee travels to work in the morning and leaves at night to (typically) go home, also known as “portal to portal.” Extenuating circumstances could change this, such as if your boss calls and asks you to pick something up on the way to work that morning.
Many executives fly to the home office or to annual sales meetings put on by the company. If there is an accident while taking a taxi to and from the airport, or a plane accident, the employee or his/her beneficiaries, will receive workers’ compensation benefits and a possible settlement.
The same is true when taking a train or subway to off-site meetings or other company functions. If a company decided to conduct a marketing retreat on a cruise liner and the boat sank with all lives lost, beneficiaries would receive workers’ compensation benefits.
You, as a beneficiary, should check with your workers’ compensation attorney to find out if once you receive workers’ compensation survivor benefits, would you be penalized if you also received a settlement from the transport company, such as the cruise liner’s parent company.
Lunches and dinners put on by department directors or by the company president, would also fall under the workplace scenario. Anyone who may experience a fall down the stairs at that function would have their injuries covered by workers’ compensation, even if alcohol was involved which led to that fall.
The parties or other company functions can take place at a restaurant or bar, and still be covered by workers’ compensation.
If you are taking your lunch break and buying your lunch at the company’s cafeteria, then workers’ compensation would still cover you. You would not be covered if you went off-site to eat at a restaurant of your choosing.
A group of you and other employees may like to get together at the local bar, but this would be considered private time and therefore, workers’ compensation would not cover any of you. The same is true of a department head who invited you out for drinks or for dinner. The only way this could fall under company oversight is if it was classified as a meeting. In such cases, the meeting should be conducted on-site in the department head’s office.
Your department head may ask you to run over to the nearest printer’s shop to take care of a brochure that needs to be viewed and approved for final printing. This errand and the journey to and from your place of business to the printer’s office is company time. Workers’ compensation would cover any accidents.
If you have questions about whether you are covered under certain work situations, call us at once for a consultation. 602-346-9009.
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