To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, you must show two things—that you have been hurt and that you were "working" when you sustained the injury. In an earlier blog, we looked at whether injuries suffered while on a break or traveling for the company were covered by workers’ compensation. This blog looks at other situations where your employer might argue you were not actually working—injuries at a company event and injuries caused by your own wrongdoing.
When You Are Hurt at a Company Outing or Event
It’s pretty common for most companies to have team-building or company sponsored events, such as golf tournaments, softball games or similar activities. If the company organized and sponsored the event, you will generally be considered to be working if you are injured at the outing. There may be exceptions, though, if your conduct at the event is unreasonable. For example, if you consume too much alcohol and fall down, hurting yourself, you may not have a valid workers’ compensation claim, unless the company paid for the booze.
Injuries Caused By Your Own Misconduct
Though workers’ compensation is typically a no-fault benefit—the benefits are available regardless of the worker’s negligence—you can be denied workers’ compensation if the injured was caused by your own intentional act. You can’t recover workers’ compensation for self-inflicted injuries. However, just because your conduct was a violation of workplace safety rules or other guidelines, you won’t necessarily have your claim denied. If your actions were merely careless or negligent, you will likely still have a right to workers’ compensation.
Contact Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus, we have fought for the rights of individuals throughout Delaware County since 1980. We offer a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or contact us online.