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Does California Workers' Comp Cover Holiday Work Parties?


The holiday season is upon us, and one of the most anticipated events during this time is the company holiday party. While it's the perfect time to celebrate and mingle with coworkers, it's important to know where the line is drawn when it comes to workplace injuries.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether California Workers' Comp covers holiday work parties and what you need to know should an accident occur.

Are Holiday Parties Considered Work-Related Events?

First and foremost, it's important to understand that a holiday work party is still considered a work-related event, which means that workers' comp coverage still applies. This means that if an employee gets injured during the party, they should be eligible for benefits under the workers' compensation system. It’s the employer's responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees during the event, just as it is on any other workday.

An Employee’s Behavior Can Cause Ineligibility

However, there are certain circumstances where workers' comp coverage may be compromised. If an employee was intoxicated or acting recklessly during the party, they may be denied coverage for any injuries sustained. Similarly, if an employee is injured by a personal act that is not related to work, such as dancing on a table, they may not be eligible for workers' comp benefits.

Location Can Determine Eligibility

Another factor to consider is the location of the holiday party. If the party is held off-site, such as a restaurant or rented facility, the workers' compensation coverage may be more difficult to determine. It's important to consult with your employer to ensure that the off-site location is covered under the company's workers' comp policy.

To ensure the safety of all employees during the party, it's crucial for the employer to take precautionary measures. This means making sure that the venue is safe and free of any hazards, such as slippery floors or exposed electrical wires. Employers should also provide designated drivers or transportation for employees who have been drinking.

In the event of an accident or injury during a holiday work party, it's important to report it to your employer as soon as possible. Even if the injury seems minor at the time, it's important to seek medical attention and document the incident to ensure that you are covered under workers' comp.

Do You Need Help with a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The holidays are a time for celebration, but it's important to remember that a holiday work party is still a work-related event. California Workers' Comp does cover holiday work parties, but there are circumstances, such as intoxication or recklessness, where coverage may be denied.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees during the party and should take precautionary measures to prevent any accidents or injuries. In the event of an injury, it's important to report it to your employer as soon as possible and seek medical attention. Stay safe this holiday season, and enjoy your company party with peace of mind.

Contact Smolich and Smolich at any time for help with a workers’ comp-related legal matter.