Can Employees Injured at a Company Party Get Workers’ Compensation?

February 7, 2017

It has been a great year at work, full of challenges and accomplishments. It feels good to celebrate with that success with a party that will bond fellow employees as a team, and express gratitude for the excellent work that each person contributed to the company’s accomplishments. But then someone gets injured while attending the party. Does workers’ compensation cover injuries suffered at the annual party?

Workers’ compensation is a state run program that offers partial wage-loss disability payments and medical expenses for work related accidents. An employee who sustains an injury arising out of his or her employment, they must inform their employer of the incident before they file a workers’ compensation claim. Philadelphia employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers all their employees, or file documents with the state that proves that they are self-insured. If a person’s job is a receptionist and they are injured when a heavy box falls from a high shelf and strikes them in the shoulder, they are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim because the injury arose out of their employment and while they were performing regular work tasks.

When it comes to an injury suffered at the company party, whether or not you’re eligible depends on when and where the party was held. If attendance was voluntary and held off-site or after hours, then you probably can’t get workers’ comp. But if the party was mandatory (or else, you were given an option to take a vacation/personal day or lose time, as opposed to attending) then you may be eligible to benefits.

Tips for preventing accidents at the company annual party

Here are a few tips to consider when you want to make sure that the event is as safe as possible:

  • Schedule the party away from company headquarters, on a weekend or a time outside of regular work hours
  • If you plan to serve alcohol, hire a professional bartender. They know when a person has had too much to drink and they can cut them off without any awkwardness for a fellow employee
  • Invite family members of employees to attend
  • Do not require that employees attend the party
  • Do not give out awards or bonuses or require any work-related activities at the event

A work celebration is a fun way to unwind and have a good time with coworkers. Hold the event and enjoy the fruits of your labor for the year while taking precautions against an injury ruining the fun.

Larry Pitt & Associates has been helping injured workers throughout Pennsylvania for more than 35 years. If you were hurt at work, we want to help. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer from out firm, please fill out our contact form or call 888.PITT.LAW. We proudly serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.