OFFICE PARTY INJURIES
In many offices in Minnesota, there are Christmas parties, office parties, picnics, or other office events. Work comp injuries at the office party may be covered under Minnesota workers’ compensation.
Several issues are analyzed in making a determination whether work comp injuries at the office party are covered.
Minnesota Statute 176.021, subd. 9, provides:
Injuries incurred while participating in voluntary recreational programs sponsored by the employer, including health promotion programs, athletic events, parties, and picnics, do not arise out of and in the course of the employment even though the employer pays some or all of the cost of the programs. This exclusion does not apply in the event that the injured employee was ordered or assigned by the employer to participate in the program.
THE MAIN ISSUE IN EVALUATING WORK COMP INJURIES AT THE OFFICE PARTY IS WHETHER THE EMPLOYER “ORDERED” OR REQUIRED THAT THE EMPLOYEE ATTEND.
In Ellingson v. Brady Corp. an employee was not required to attend the employer’s “Fun Day” program. The injured employee was given the option to attend, remain at work, take a vacation day, or take the day off without pay. The court held that because attendance was not mandatory, the injury that occurred was not compensable.
MANDATORY ATTENDANCE IS A KEY FACTOR IN EVALUATING WHETHER MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVERAGE APPLIES TO WORK COMP INJURIES AT THE OFFICE PARTY.
Our Minnesota work comp lawyers know how to analyze a case involving work comp injuries at the office party. If you were injured at a work party, picnic, or event, our lawyers will review the circumstances of the work event and explain to you whether you may be entitled to Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. If benefits are available, our Minneapolis/St. Paul work comp lawyers will fight to get the benefits you deserve.