Are You Covered by Workers Compensation if Injured at a Holiday Party or Company Event?

Nov 20, 2019 | Compensability

Being compensated for an injury sustained at work is one thing, but what happens if you get injured during your company holiday party or family picnic?

Injured at a Holiday Party – Would you be covered under workers’ compensation? The answer is…only if it’s mandatory attendance.

If the employer mandates the activity, an injury is probably going to be considered work-related.

For example, if your employer says everyone has to be at the company picnic or a part of the intramural basketball or baseball teams, then your participation is considered work-related even if it’s off-hours or not on the premises.

If any part of the activity is considered optional or voluntary, then an injury will not be covered under workers’ compensation. Ultimately, the court will take into account whether the activity or event was mandated by the employer or voluntary.

Also, a situation we sometimes see is when an employer requires physical fitness standards in order to be an employee or if they sponsor some type of physical fitness activity.

For example, if police officers train in preparation for a physical fitness test and don’t pass the test, then they will no longer be employed. So, if an injury occurred while preparing, then the training will not be considered part of the job and therefore not covered by workers’ compensation. Again, if it’s voluntary, an injury is not going to be covered.

Travel Status

Tammy’s case is unique because she is usually helping clients in our Denver office and traveled here to Greeley for our holiday party. Any time throughout the year that Tammy travels to Denver, she is considered to be on “travel status.” If anything should happen to Tammy while she is on travel status, it’s most likely regarded as work-related and covered under workers’ compensation.

As you can see, getting injured at a holiday party or company picnic or participating in a company activity can be fairly complicated in terms of filing a workers’ compensation claim.

That is why if you or someone you know suffers an injury under one of these circumstances, please give the offices of Kaplan Morrell a call at 303-780-7329 or email us to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help.