If you were injured during your lunch break, it’s not completely cut and dry regarding whether or not you can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Each state has different laws regarding the issue, but there are some basics that apply to most. Check it out!
In order for someone to receive these benefits, their injury must be directly related to employment. If the employee was handling something related to the job when the injury occurred, it is considered a workplace injury. If the employee was not carrying out a job-related duty at the time of injury, it generally wouldn’t be considered a workplace injury.
Off-Site Lunch Breaks
If you were off-site having lunch during a break and become injured, most cases will not end in your favor. Eating lunch is not a job-related task, and being away from the office puts your employer out of the running for being the responsible party. However, if you were asked to run errands for your employer while you were out getting lunch, that could change the outcome of your case.
For example, your employer could have planned an employee appreciation lunch in which he or she purchased lunch for everyone to eat together at a certain time one day. You may have been the employee designated to pick up the lunch. That could be looked at as a job-related duty because you were running an errand for your employer. If you were injured during that off-site lunch run, the employer could be responsible. If you were asked to pick up copy paper on your way back to the office after a personal lunch break and become injured during that task, that could also be considered a job-related injury.
On-Site Lunch Breaks
Someone who eats lunch on-site may have a case for workers’ compensation if they were injured while eating lunch. For example, if they entered the break room and there was an ill-placed chair they tripped over, the employer could be held liable. If they didn’t actually clock out for a break, but ate while completing their job, that could be considered an on-the-job injury as well. Each case is different and will require an individual assessment, but on-site lunch break injuries could be easier to prove.
Getting Help From an Attorney
When you are injured on the job during a lunch break, you need the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney. Contact a qualified lawyer today so you can get started with your case.