Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for an Injury Sustained at a Work Party?

Rispoli & Borneo P.C.

From holidays, to social gatherings, to corporate events, everyone enjoys participating in a workplace party or social gathering, but what happens if you’re injured at one of these events?  You may be entitled to benefits under your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance policy.  Just because an injury occurs in a social setting rather than your conventional work duties, doesn’t mean you’re barred from medical and monetary benefits under Workers’ Compensation. Various factors can play a role in determining if a work party injury is covered, for example, location of the party, payment for the party, whether attendance was optional and timing of the party.   Each case is fact sensitive, so meeting with a NY workers’ compensation attorney can be especially important in these matters.

There are many scenarios in which you may be covered.  In a recent case, a client came to our office after fracturing his foot at a work holiday party. Despite the injury occurring as a bystander to an altercation at the party, since the party was at the place of employment and it was during the time the claimant was supposed to be working but for the party, the case was found compensable.  In another similar case, where a claimant was injured at an off-site dinner to celebrate a co-workers retirement, the employer was found to be liable as they provided time-off to attend the gathering, paid for travel expenses and paid for the dinner in advance.  A final example of a covered event, is a case where the employee suffered a heart attack as a result of strenuous dancing at an employer sponsored dinner to boost morale amongst employees.

As you can see, just because you may have been having fun, and not in your usual work setting, doesn’t mean you are not covered under Workers’ Compensation and you may be entitled to benefits.

Our attorneys are here to help. Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. today for a free initial consultation.

Thanks to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C., for their insight into workers compensation practice.