Christmas has come and gone, but a lot of companies like to throw a holiday party for their employees in January once the fourth quarter has come to a close. These parties can be a lot of fun, but if things get out of hand or an accident occurs, you can suffer an injury.
If the injuries happen while you’re at a company function, but you weren’t performing your job duties, can you still file for workers’ compensation? We explain how Minnesota handles these situations in today’s blog.
Injured At A Work Function in Minnesota
Minnesota outlines how it handles injuries at work functions in Statute 176.021, which states:
“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 program.”
So it would seem like you would not be able to file for workers’ compensation for injuries that occured at a work function, but it’s not that cut and dry. Minnesota lays out a number of exceptions to the statute, and odds are you can find an exception that fits your situation. We’ll dive into all the possible exceptions in the next section.
Exceptions To The Law
If one or more of these factors are present, you may be able to prove that the injury is compensable under Minnesota workers’ compensation law.
- The event was optional, but those who did not attend were required to remain at work.
- Employees at the event were working, even if the event was optional.
- Clients or prospective clients were at the event, and employees are furthering the employer’s business.
- Employees are expected or required to attend the event.
- Employees were paid to attend the event.
- Even if employees weren’t required to attend, there were expectations that employees were to attend and their were potential consequences for not attending.
- The event was promotional or marketed in such a way that the employer benefited from it.
- The employee was coerced into attending.
- If the party took place on work property, and the employer failed to account for the risk.
We can’t lay out every possible scenario, but there’s a good chance that you can make an argument that your work outing hit at least one of the above checkpoints, so if you are injured, reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer. We’ve helped clients who have been injured at holiday parties and wellness retreats, so if you’ve been injured at a work function that didn’t necessarily occur while you were “on the clock,” remember that you still have the right to earn compensation in Minnesota. Reach out to Dean Margolis today for more information.
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