I was injured playing on my company’s softball team. Am I eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?
The answer to this question is dependent upon the facts surrounding the softball game. In New Jersey, an injury sustained while the worker is participating in a recreational event is compensable only if two factors are satisfied: (1) the activity in question must be a regular incident of employment; and (2) the activity must produce for the employer a benefit more than improved employee health and morale.
A regular incident of employment is generally interpreted as requiring a showing that there was some compulsion on the part of the employee to participate. This means that the employee was in some way expected or required to play. If the employer sponsors a team in a league and supplies uniforms and equipment, but does not require an employee to participate, than the event may not be an incident of employment.
The second test requires a showing that the employer is obtaining a benefit from the event over and above employee health and morale. This usually requires a showing that the employer is using the event to improve or expand its business activity, such as to obtain new clients or generate increased sales.
Obviously injuries sustained during a social event are very fact-sensitive. Anyone injured during such an activity should always consult an experienced Worker’s Compensation attorney as soon as possible. The Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Stark & Stark’s Marlton, New Jersey office are always ready to assist injured workers facing such situations.