If you’re injured during the regular course of your workday, you’ll likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your expenses while you recover. However, if you happen to be injured at a time that falls outside of your regular hours, the issue becomes a little more complex.
When injured on a break from work, there are several factors considered in determining whether or not you will be eligible for workers’ compensation. First, if you are an hourly worker and you sustain an injury outside of the workplace during lunch or another type of break, you typically will not qualify for benefits. However, if you are a salaried worker, you may still qualify for workers’ compensation, as courts have ruled that salaried workers are not expected to suspend their relationship with the employer during breaks.
If you are an hourly worker who is injured in a workplace cafeteria, you may also have a case for receiving workers’ compensation. This is because eating at a workplace cafeteria qualifies as a service to your employer, as workplace cafeterias are typically installed to improve productivity. This is true even if the worker as clocked out while on break.
Typically, time spent commuting to and from work is exempted from workers’ compensation, except in cases where you are traveling as a part of your service to an employer. And, if you are injured during the course of a work function like a company party, you may also qualify for workers’ compensation.
In all, determining an individual’s eligibility to receive workers’ compensation is not always a cut-and-dried process. There are often a number of contributing factors, so be sure to consult a skilled workplace injury attorney if you have questions.