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I Was Injured During a Company Event. Can I Claim Workers' Comp?

California provides workers’ compensation benefits for all employees who were injured at work while performing work-related duties. Unfortunately, however, you may not qualify for benefits if you are injured during a voluntary recreational event sponsored by your employer.

Many companies are hosting holiday gatherings during December, which can expose employees to new environments and new hazards. While these events are intended to be fun, they can result in pain and injury should an accident occur.

While employees are typically able to file workers’ comp claims for injuries directly associated with their employment, this is not the case for injuries that occur during optional, off-the-clock company events.

The only exception to this may be if an employer expected or otherwise required participation in the event. If the employee had no option but to participate or felt as such, then they could receive benefits after filing a workers’ comp claim.

You Must Prove Attendance Was Mandatory

If you intend to file a workers’ comp claim for an injury that occurred during a work-sponsored event, you should be prepared to prove that attendance was mandatory. Keep in mind that mandatory participation doesn’t have to be explicit – certain circumstantial factors can point toward expected participation.

A few facts that can indicate that participation wasn’t entirely optional can include these:

  • Employees were paid for time spent during the event.
  • You were required to work if you didn’t participate in the event.
  • There is a known custom in your company of attending the event.
  • Your employer took attendance during the event to see who showed up.
  • Your presence during the event provided your employer with any kind of benefit.

As you can see, the factors that can indicate a company-sponsored event wasn’t totally optional are broad in nature. These are just a few, and there are many other indications that might apply to your unique situation.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney to Learn More

Filing a workers’ comp claim can be complicated under typical circumstances. When you sustained an injury during a mandatory company event, however, your claim can be denied due to a misunderstanding of the nature of the event.

You can prevent this outcome and work toward achieving the benefits you need with help from an experienced workers’ comp attorney. Smolich and Smolich can provide the legal support you need to move forward with your claim and fight against any delays or denials you may encounter.

Learn more about how we can help during a free initial consultation. Call (916) 571-0400">(916) 571-0400 today to learn more.