Workplace injuries happen and are often attributable to unfortunate incidents that occur in one’s place of work while a person is engaged in the performance of his or her work duties. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to help cover medical expenses and lost wages that may result from such an injury. A recent case in Tallahassee, Florida, deals with what happens when such an injury occurs during a workplace-sponsored outing.
A company outing took place at a local bowling alley. While participating in the activity, a woman injured her ankle. The outing took place during working hours, and employees were under the impression that attendance was expected. The purpose of the outing was described as to boost employee morale and also to discuss goals for the coming year.
The woman’s claim for workers’ compensation was initially denied but was turned over on appeal. The denial was based on the fact that required attendance was not explicitly stated. However, the judge who overturned the decision on appeal indicated that, since the activity took place during regular working hours, it would be reasonable for employees to assume that attendance was required; therefore, the injury qualified for workers’ compensation insurance.
Year-end activities frequently involve off-site workplace gatherings in Florida. The line between required attendance and requested or encouraged attendance may not always be clear. Injuries can happen anywhere and anytime. If a person sustains an injury during a workplace event, he or she may wish to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and inform the client regarding what legal options may be available regarding workers’ compensation.