Under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, an employer may be held liable for injuries that occur outside of the workplace, depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury.
Workers’ Compensation Law
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that an employer can be held legally liable for an injury that “arises out of and in the course of employment.” If an employee was completing tasks related to the job at the time of his or her injury, he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if this injury occurred off of the main job site. Some situations where workers comp lawyers are hired when the employee was not on the job site include:
Employees who are traveling as part of their job responsibilities and who are injured during this travel may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits since this work arises out of and is conducted in the course of their employment. For example, if a worker is injured in a car accident while heading to see a business client, he or she may be entitled to benefits. However, employees are generally not entitled to benefits when they are on their way to work or leaving after work.
Additionally, employees who are injured because they are at a location due to their work may be entitled to benefits. This includes flight attendants or salespersons that are not engaged in work-related activities at the time of the injury but would not have been injured at the location were they not there for work. Workers comp lawyers can explain when benefits may be available for such work travel.
Employers can also be held liable for injuries that occur during employer-sponsored events, including work picnics, sporting events and other types of events that are more recreational in nature. The determination of whether depends on whether the participation in the company event was mandatory or voluntary. Injuries sustained at a mandatory company event are compensable; those which occurred at a voluntary event are not. Determining whether participation in an event is mandatory or voluntary is not always clear. The Illinois courts, however, have provided some guidance. Mandatory events may be classified in this way when the employer refuses to pay employees who do not participate in the event or if an employee is responsible for coordinating the event as part of his or her job description.