Team building has become an important part of the modern-day work culture. Companies and corporations see the value in letting employees get together, build relationships, blow off some steam, and simply have fun.
These events sometimes involve physical activity. Your employer can throw a frisbee golf or kickball game. Sometimes, work events allow alcohol use. Either of these scenarios increases the likelihood of injuries during the event, which raises an important question:
Can you receive workers’ comp if you are hurt at a work-related activity?
As with any injury, the insurer will look at the specifics of the event and your injury, and it will make its decision from there.
These scenarios will increase the possibility of receiving compensation for a work-sponsored event injury.
Event Attendance Is Mandatory
Essentially, any event that requires your attendance is a part of your job. It doesn’t matter if anyone is accomplishing any work. If you must attend something, you should be paid for your time, and you should be eligible for workers’ comp during the event. If the insurer tries to deny your benefits in this situation, make sure to contact an attorney right away.
The Event Took Place During Work Hours
Regardless of whether attendance is mandatory, when something happens during work hours, there could be an implied expectation of attendance. If you feel pressured, believing that skipping this event will affect your relationship with the management, the activity may as well be mandatory.
Even something completely voluntary, like a weekly guided meditation, should be covered by workers’ comp. It’s taking place during work, probably on work grounds. Injuries during this time are similar to those sustained on a smoke break or a trip to the cafeteria. Workers’ compensation should cover you.
Your Work Overtly Endorsed the Event
Sometimes a manager can go rogue, taking a group on an unapproved field trip. If you are hurt at this event, your manager may be the liable party. When your company directly sponsors the event, however, there is a stronger case for workers’ comp coverage.
Even in the case of a rouge manager, you should be able to negotiate for compensation. You probably believed that the activity was approved, so you weren’t assuming any risk by attending. If you find yourself in a situation like this, get help from an attorney to work with a stubborn insurer.
The Frequency of the Event
If an event happens regularly at the same time on the same weekdays, you can argue that it is an essential part of the work culture. Getting hurt at such an event should justify compensation benefits.
Talk With an Attorney
If you need workers’ comp benefits from a work-related event, run your application by an attorney first. They may be able to help identify potential pitfalls and rewrite your claim if necessary. Prevention is always best when working with insurance companies, as they often look for any excuse to deny your claim. If you are denied, your attorney can help you appeal and receive the financial help you need.
If you were hurt at a work-sponsored event, call (714) 909-2609 today for a free consultation. You can also schedule time with us using our online contact form.