By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If your company has a basketball/softball/bowling team and you get hurt playing, can you get workers comp?
A worker at a South Carolina public relations company was in charge of organizing a team-building kickball game. When trying to avoid getting tagged, he shattered two bones in his leg and required surgery. Second graders everywhere are saying: aaahh ahh. But it’s the company who’s crying because he sued for workers compensation.
Does worker’s compensation cover an injury that happens playing for your company’s team?
Most state laws say that injuries that occur at voluntary recreational activities normally are not covered by workers comp, but there are some exceptions as the South Carolina Supreme Court explained this month to Jack the tripper’s company.
Where the employer requires employees to “come out and play” or strongly suggests that employees should participate in team building exercises like this one, any injury may be considered in the scope of employment.
If you’re accident prone, though, think about being a company cheerleader rather than player. And if you’re the HR manager, be sure to remind everyone that it’s not whether you win or lose but how safely you play the game.