Company parties are common at this time of year. A 2019 survey indicated that three out of four companies plan to throw at least one party for their employees during the winter season. Statistically speaking, if you have a job you are likely to attend an employer-sponsored function.
Perhaps you have already been to a work party and you experienced an injury there. If so, are you entitled to workers’ compensation? According to their employee handbook, the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources asserts workers’ compensation should cover injuries caused by accidents when they occur as part of your job.
If the party took place on company property, an injury may entitle you to compensation. If the party was at an off-site venue, the insurance of the venue would likely cover any issues that occur at the party—but when firms host parties on company premises, the firm may be liable.
Regular scope of duties
If your attendance was within the scope of your regular duties—for example, if you are the events coordinator—workers’ compensation may cover you. Any time employers require participation, the law may consider the party to be part of your job; therefore, injuries that take place during the festivities may qualify for coverage under workers’ compensation provisions.
If the injury occurred while you were doing an errand for the company in conjunction with the festivities, your injury may qualify for workers’ compensation. If you are driving to the store for office supplies and get in an auto accident, you likely meet the requirements for “special errand” workers’ compensation coverage. The situation is similar at parties, where an employee may make a run to the corner store for ice.
Naturally, if you cause your own injury, your employer is probably not liable. If you drink to the point of impairment or act recklessly at the time of the incident, it may be much harder to win a workers’ compensation judgment. Remember that a work party is more work than party, and you need to be conscientious while you have a good time.