The holiday season is finally over. For many of us, it’s the busiest time of the year. Between our own personal holiday celebrations and the uptick in the amount of work, the holidays can feel absolutely non-stop. It’s also the time of year when many companies have holiday parties. Depending on who you are and how you feel about socializing at work, this could either fall on the celebration or non-stop work side of things. But what about in the eyes of workers’ compensation? Do these parties fall under the category of work or play?


In North Carolina, workers’ comp covers you when you are “performing the duties of employment.” This means anything from the daily tasks of your job, to special errands you do for work (for instance if your boss asked you to run to the store to buy coffee). So does the holiday party fall under “the duties of employment”?


Unfortunately, there isn’t really a yes or no answer. If you’re injured at a work party, workman’s comp is going to evaluate your situation. Some of the things they might take into consideration are:

  • Were you required to be at the office party?
  • Did your company benefit by you being at the party?
  • Did the party occur during normal work hours?


Workers’ comp is even flexible with what it means to be required to go to the party. For instance, your boss might not directly tell you that you have to go to the holiday party; however, if it’s implied that you must go, and that you will face consequences for not attending, chances are that you could be covered by workers’ comp benefits.


If you were injured at a holiday office party, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your eligibility. At Oxner + Permar, we believe in fighting for our clients and ensuring that their rights are being protected.