Should You "Let the Party Begin"? Some Insurance Thoughts

Written by on 5/11/2016 3:27 AM in , . It has 1 Comments.

Love throwing company parties for holidays to boost morale, celebrate success, or thank employees? Company parties can be wonderful indeed, but if you fail to heed these event-related employee management tips, they can also result in worker’s comp management nightmares.

Can an Employee Receive Worker’s Comp Following Injury at a Party?
Some state courts, such as AL, have determined employees may be eligible to file a worker’s comp claim if injured during any event when they are reasonably fulfilling duties of their employment, or participating in something incidental to their employment.

Is Your Party a Duty of Employment?
This hinges on the facts surrounding the event. A party or function NOT required by the employer does not normally fall under the scope of employment required to make a worker’s comp claim.

Key Signs Pointing to a Party as Part of Employment:

  • Requirement of Participation
    Mandatory attendance puts you on the hook for injury liability – as well as for wage compensation for attending employees. Linking performance awards or bonuses with attendance indicates requirement of participation as well.
  • Encouragement of Participation
    Prizes or other motivators encouraging participation in your event may elevate the party to an activity of employment. In addition, giving off the vibe attendance is “encouraged” or “expected” points to participation that is not truly “voluntary.”
  • Employer Subsidization
    If the employer pays for the event, this may be seen as a means of compensating employees and also lends to the theory of the event as part of employment.

Don’t drop the ball when you drop the ball at your annual company party. Start protecting yourself with employee management tips from Minnesota Comp Advisor today.


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