In general, employees can obtain workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury or illness while working. California law entitles employees to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries if their injury was suffered within the scope of employment. But how do you determine if your injury while on break is within the scope of employment?
Determining whether you were acting within the scope of employment when injured can be complex. Many different facts and circumstances can affect your workers’ compensation claim. Calling a San Jose workers’ compensation attorney will help you determine if you have a valid claim.
Generally, if an employee suffers an injury during a rest or lunch break, they will not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some exceptions based on the specific situation. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help assess the merits of your case.
One important factor that California courts will consider is where the employee’s injury occurred. For example, if you injured yourself at a restaurant while picking up your lunch, you likely cannot claim workers’ compensation. However, if you hurt yourself in the cafeteria located on your employer’s premises during your lunch break, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation.
As an employee, you may think that your commute to or from work is considered part of your workday. However, California workers’ compensation laws generally do not consider commuting to be within the scope of employment. This means that if you were injured during your normal commute, you likely don’t have a valid workers’ compensation claim.
Many employers host events for their employees like parties, picnics, or sports games. Sometimes employees are injured during these events and may be eligible for workers’ compensation. To determine whether the event was within the scope of employment, courts will analyze the following factors:
- Whether participation was voluntary or required
- Degree of sponsorship/participation by the employer
- Location of event
- Whether the event occurred during business hours
- Frequency of the event
The timing of your workplace injury can cause issues in the claim process, especially if you were on a break or outside your usual work environment.
There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to being eligible for workers’ compensation. You probably have many questions about whether the injury you suffered during a work break is covered or not. Call a San Jose worker’s compensation attorney today to discuss your case.