The holidays can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. Food, friends, festivities, and holiday parties with co workers!
But what happens when an employee is injured at a company celebration? Does workman’s comp cover such an event?
Each state’s workers compensation laws vary. There’s generally one common question to help determine the course of action when it comes to workers’ compensation coverage:
“Was the person acting within the course and scope of employment?”
Below are some questions to ponder in order to determine if an injury may be covered under workers’ compensation. If you answer yes to any of these questions, it doesn’t guarantee that an accident is covered but that there is a possibility of coverage.
- Were employees required or expected to come to the holiday party?
- Did the accident occur on the employer’s property?
- Did the property have an unsafe condition that the employer was aware of, but did not correct?
- Were employees paid to attend the celebration?
- Was the employee working at the holiday party?
- Was the party optional, but those who didn’t attend had to stay at work?
- Were clients present and were employees there promoting the business?
Below are some suggestions to employers on how to organize a safe holiday party for employees:
- If attendance is not mandatory, make that clear in the invitation.
- Seriously consider if you want to serve alcohol. While often expected, it can cause some issues regarding liability. If you do decide to provide it, consider hiring an outside party serve it.
- Don’t promote any work-related activity at the function.
- Schedule the event away from the work premises.
- Invite family members.
If you or someone you know is injured at a work holiday party, it might be in your best interest to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal rights.