How does Colorado law handle injuries that happen during an employee’s coffee break?
Since you’re not actively working at the time is your injury still covered under workers compensation? The answer is YES because mandated breaks are required by law and therefore getting injured while on your break would be covered by workers comp.
Here are three points to help you understand this law:
Part of your employment allows for your personal comfort, whether it’s going outside for fresh air, standing up to stretch and walk around a bit, or taking a 15-minute coffee break. Personal comfort is considered part of the job, and if you accidentally get injured during this time, you are covered by workers compensation.
Depending on the circumstances, an injury that happens during “horseplay” may or may not be covered by workers comp. The courts will look at what’s called a five-part test, and one of the factors is, is to what extent does your supervisor or employer tolerate horseplay. In an instance where your supervisor is part of or tolerates the horseplay, and you sustain an injury, it would be considered part of the job and covered by workers compensation.
Who’s at Fault
If you get hurt at work while engaging in horseplay and the employer says you can’t file a workers comp claim because it was your fault for goofing around, don’t believe it! It doesn’t matter who caused the injury—whether it’s your fault, the employer’s fault, or someone else’s fault. Fault is immaterial in workers compensation, and it does not make a difference. So always report the injury!
What Happens if You Get Injured During a Coffee Break?
If you get injured on the job while taking a coffee break or engaging in horseplay and your employer insists you’re not covered because it was your fault, call the offices of Kaplan Morrell at 708-356-9898 for a free consultation. We are here to help!