In most instances, employees who are injured at work can feel confident that their injury falls within the scope of job-related activities or occurred within the course of employment. For instance, someone who pulls a back muscle lifting materials or falls from a ladder while counting inventory was obviously engaged in a job-related activity.
Alternatively, there are some injuries that are clearly outside the course of employment. For example, it is pretty clear that hurting your back while landscaping on the weekend is outside the course of employment, and so is a bad sunburn while on vacation to Mexico.
Need to Define the Term Job-Related Activity
Yet, there are still a number of cases that are not this clear cut. Every day employees have downtime at work or participate in activities that seem job-related, but are not exactly work, such as eating lunch in the staff kitchen or walking out of the office at the end of the day. All of these activities happen at work, but are they in the course of employment?
As well, there are certain activities that do not even happen at the workplace, such as company parties or a work retreat. Employees that are hurt at the company softball game, for instance, probably have a lot of questions regarding workers’ compensation and if the benefits of this program in New Jersey could apply to their situation. These types of activities do not take place at the office, warehouse, or factory where normal job-related activities occur, …Read More