Dec 2, 2020

Work Parties and Holiday Functions: Are You Covered by Workers’ Comp?

Holidays are a favorite time of year for many, which is good news because they are right around the corner! Food, gift exchanges, and family gatherings are just a few of the highly-anticipated parts of the holidays.

Work parties are also a common festivity during this time of year. While many large indoor gatherings are canceled this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are likely to be some work-related functions still taking place this year with certain health precautions taken, such as:

  • Wearing face masks
  • Maintaining a social distance of six feet from people not in your party
  • Moving activities outdoors
  • Getting COVID-19 tested with a negative result prior to attending any event

While health is sure to be at the top of everyone’s list this year, it’s important to remember that dangers can lurk in even the most innocuous places and injuries can still happen at holiday work-functions. When injuries occur at these events, does workers’ compensation apply?

What Is the Worker’s Scope of Employment?

Ultimately, whether or not workers’ compensation benefits apply to a specific accident comes down to one general question:

“Was the person acting in their specific scope of employment?”

In most cases, individuals are not performing their job duties while attending holiday parties. However, there are a few other questions that may be asked when determining whether workers’ comp coverage applies to injuries at work functions:

  • Were employees required or expected to show up to the gathering?
  • Did the function take place during normal working or business hours?
  • Did the accident/injury occur on the employer’s property?
  • Was the employee paid to attend the celebration?
  • Were clients present and were employees there to promote the business?

Typically, if an employee attends a work-related event voluntarily and an accident occurs off the work premises while the employee is not working, it is not viewed as acting within the scope of employment. Therefore, workers’ compensation would probably not apply.

Are There Any Other Options?

If you’re injured at a work-related event this holiday season, you should not hesitate to reach out to our seasoned legal team to learn more about your legal options. Even if workers’ compensation doesn’t apply to your specific accident, there may be other liable parties that we can help you identify and work get you compensated for your injuries.

Contact Hansford McDaniel – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at 770-922-3660 to speak with our legal team for free today.