Can you claim for injuries sustained when you’re off the clock?
How many times have you been asked to run an errand on your way home from work by your boss? Or maybe you’ve been called out to help with something while you’re on your lunch break. At these times, you’re considered to be “off the clock”.
So, what would happen if you found yourself injured during these times? Would you still be able to claim for workers’ compensation if you weren’t technically at work?
Often, it all comes down to the details of what you were asked to do.
Was it within the scope of your employment?
This is the first point that needs to be decided when considering whether there’s a potential for a claim. The injury needs to have occurred during the course of your employment.
A good way of determining this is by asking the following question:
“When the injury happened, were you acting in your employer’s interest and was it in the scope of your employment?”
While this may sound simple, it’s often not quite so black and white. Some examples of where you would and wouldn’t be covered for workers’ compensation as an employee are:
- Sustaining an injury while travelling between locations for work at the request of your employer is likely to be covered whereas regular commuting is not.
- Being injured while dropping off paperwork or equipment to a location on your way home from work opens up the potential for a claim.
- Sustaining an injury while at lunch in the breakroom would be covered but if you left the location, it would not. This is because employers are only under a duty of care to maintain common areas in and around the building.
Determining whether you were injured while in the course of your employment is essential to making a claim for an injury that occurred when you were off the clock. Seeking legal assistance early on can help you in preparing your claim.