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.