Workers Compensation Question- Is an Employee Who is “Out To Lunch” Covered?

Date: June 29, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law

            Karen was working as a clerk and had the choice of either eating her lunch on her employer\’s premises or going out for the same. There was a strip mall across the road from Karen\’s employer that included a food store and a doughnut shop. One day while on lunch break, she decided to cross the highway to get her lunch. Karen picked up a sandwich and some other food to take back to some of her co-employees. Unfortunately though, on her way across the highway, she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. As a result of being struck, Karen sustained numerous injuries which would keep her out of work for almost six months.

ISSUE:          Is Karen entitled to Workers\’ Compensation benefits?

ANSWER:     No. Karen would not have been considered in the scope and course of her employment. In cases like this, Karen was actually injured off of her employer\’s premises and was in no way furthering her employer\’s business or affairs. If Karen had been sent by one of her supervisors to pick up the food, then quite possibly she would have been considered covered.

 Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.