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Courts Rule That Lunch Is Not Covered Under Workers Compensation Claim

While some states leave the option for employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance in their hands, some states require employers to have it. New York requires essentially every employer to have worker’s compensation insurance to cover employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. 

Workers’ compensation benefit payouts cover the costs of injuries, illnesses. and lost wages. Worker’s compensation covers all injuries that occur on the job because of a person’s employment. In some cases, this can extend to cover car accidents if driving is considered a part of a person’s usual working conditions. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are limited to accidents that occur during the course of a person’s day and usually do not cover accidents that occur while on the way to work or during non-paid breaks. 

Business Insurance reports that following an accident that occurred on an employee’s lunch break, he is not eligible for worker’s compensation insurance. 

On Thursday, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York ruled that a man who was injured in a car accident while riding to lunch with a supervisor is not eligible for worker’s compensation. 

In 2015, Thomas Scriven was working at David Ulmer Sprinkler when he suffered various injuries in a car accident. In his application for workers’ compensation, he claimed that lunch with his supervisor was part of his job. 

A state workers compensation law judge and a panel with the state’s Workers Compensation Board determined his injuries were compensable due to the lunch being a work function. A further appeal to the full board brought a determination that his injuries were not suffered during the scope of his employment. 

The appeals court agreed, stating that Scriven was not being compensated for his lunch and he was not “required” to attend a lunch with his supervisor.

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