Workers’ Comp and Company Events — Will You Be Covered if Injured?
Companies with an eye on improving productivity, collaboration and retention often sponsor company events to bring their staff together to strengthen their connection to each other and the company. The activities can range from hard-hitting paintball outings to screaming around go-cart tracks, all in an effort to make the event memorable for all.
Unfortunately, every year, employees are injured while participating in work-sponsored events outside of their regular work duties, which raises a question about workers’ compensation coverage for injuries occurring at work-sponsored events.
When evaluating workers’ compensation claims, courts evaluate the location, circumstances and nature of work events to determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation for injuries at company sponsored events.
Generally, unless attendance is mandatory, an injury suffered while engaging in a company-sponsored event or recreational activity does not give rise to coverage under workers’ compensation. If, for example, you twist your ankle while voluntarily attending the company picnic with your family, it is unlikely you will be eligible for compensation for the medical treatment or lost wages you may incur.
However, employees engaging in atypical behavior at the behest of their employers may be covered under workers’ compensation. Keeping with our company picnic example, imagine that your attendance is mandatory or that you are compelled by management or a supervisor to come and deliver a formal presentation regarding company performance as part of the company festivities. In this scenario, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured while attending because of the unique circumstances.
If you are not certain if your injuries at a company-sponsored event will be covered by workers’ compensation or if you have been denied coverage, contact an experienced workers’compensation lawyer to evaluate the specific facts of your case. The Des Moines attorneys of Stoltze & SToltze, PLC will provide you with answers to your questions regarding coverage under Iowa workers’ compensation for your work-related injuries. Contact us today.