Workers’ compensation exists to compensate employees injured by accidents at work and those who suffer occupational disease.
For an injury to qualify for a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina, the injury must have occurred within the scope of employment.
What does “scope of employment” mean?
The scope of employment refers to an employee acting within the time, place and circumstances expected to do their job. An on-the-job injury from an unexpected accident that occurs while a person is expectedly performing their expected duties has occurred within the scope of their employment.
When could an accident not qualify for workers’ comp?
If an accident occurs too far outside the expected job duties of an employee, it will likely not qualify for workers’ comp. If an on-the-job injury occurs when the employee is doing something they are not supposed to do, or in an area they are not supposed to be in, or it occurred outside of their expected working hours, they would likely have an invalid workers’ compensation claim.
What about work-sponsored activities?
If an injury occurs outside of regular working hours, location and duties, but while an employee is participating in a company-sponsored and encouraging event, the injury qualifies for workers’ compensation. Activities such as holiday parties and team-building events are part of employment and fall under the scope of employment.
Damage or destruction of eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures and prosthetic devices that function as part of the body would be part of an injured workers’ compensation claims if the damage occurred when the bodily injury occurred.