If I Was Injured at a Work Party, Am I Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
If you’re injured at a holiday work party, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation. Take, for instance, the following case. Over the holidays this year, a North Carolina court affirmed the decision to deny a woman’s workers’ comp claim after she was injured at her annual holiday work party in 2013.
The woman, Melissa Lennon, suffered a fall while at her annual holiday work party. She sustained serious injuries including fractured bones and muscle tears. She filed a claim to cover her missed time from work and permanent partial disability. You might think that she has a fairly good case, seeing as she was injured while attending a work function.
However, the court decided that she was not eligible for these benefits. One of their biggest reasons was that, as far as they could tell, she was not required to attend the function — many of her coworkers didn’t attend the function at all. What’s more, the party was not funded by her employer, rather by some of the employees.
In this case, the ruling was not in Ms. Lennon’s favor; however, that’s not to say that there aren’t some circumstances in which an injury at a work party might be covered by workers’ compensation. If you were injured at a mandatory event, or if the event was sponsored by your company, it’s possible your claim won’t be denied.
If you’ve been injured at a work party, and have any questions about your eligibility, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.
Help! I’m a Temp Employee and I’ve Been Hurt at Work!
If you do temp work, then you know how quickly you can move from one company to the next. Even positions that transition you from temporary to permanent employee often require you to work for a period of 90 days, or even 180 days, before you’re considered a full-time employee. So what happens if you sustain a work injury while you’re employed as a temporary worker?
Don’t worry! You’re still eligible for workers’ compensation.
The first main difference between filing for workers’ compensation as a temporary employee versus filing as a permanent employee is who you’re filing with. Instead of filing a claim against the company you’re working for, you’ll be filing a claim against the temp agency.
One you’ve filed your workman’s compensation claim, your doctor may restrict your work hours or duties while you recover. Here’s where the next big difference comes in: The company you’re working for may not accommodate your working restrictions. In this case, your temp agency may have to assign you to a different company. In some cases, they might even assign you to do light duty in their office.
If your temp agency isn’t placing you, be sure that you have a written record (get copies of notes or emails) documenting that you are asking them at least once a week if they have anything available within your restrictions.
Just like any other worker, you’re entitled to compensation while you’re out of work. I’ve seen plenty of cases where temp agencies say their injured workers never expressed interest or were unavailable for work in order to get out of paying you workers’ comp benefits.
Don’t fall for this trap! Keep records and be consistent when asking your temp agency for work.
Temporary workers are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. If you’re being denied compensation or work while you’re on restricted hours, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.
Don’t Forget: Firefighters are Covered, Too!
You may remember an incident last year when a massive apartment fire broke out in east Charlotte. Thanks to the hard work and bravery of 48 firefighters, the fire was extinguished in less than an hour. It’s amazing that a fire causing an estimated $200,000 in damage could be tamed so quickly. Fortunately, no residents or firefighters were injured in the fire.
Often, when people imagine work injuries or workers’ compensation, they’re thinking of injuries such as falls at work, heavy machinery accidents, or strain from repetitive motion. Many people forget that workers’ compensation also covers civil servants such as firefighters. Firefighters have physically intense jobs. Thankfully, workers’ compensation helps support the firefighters who get injured helping us.
At Oxner + Permar, we’re very appreciative of the work that firefighters do for us and our community. If you’re a firefighter or know someone who is, we’d be more than happy to answer any questions about injuries sustained while at work. The service you provide is invaluable, and we want to make sure that your rights are being protected. To all of you who put your lives on the line for public well being: Thank you!
You know a firefighter has your back when it comes to keeping you safe, but if you’re a firefighter and you’ve been injured at work, who’s going to be looking out for you and standing up for your rights? Call an experienced attorney at Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.