There are two exceptions to the previously defined “going and coming rule”. They are the special -mission and paid travel time.
The “special -mission” exception allows compensation for injuries that occur at work for employees who are 1) required to be away from the conventional place of employment; AND 2) actually engaged in the direct performance of employment duties at the time of their injury.
The following case is a good example of when the “special mission” exception applies. Petitioner, a commission salesman, worked out of his home other than to attend weekly meetings at his employer’s office. He would meet clients at times and sites of their choosing. On the date of the accident, petitioner completed a sale and obtained the necessary signatures of the customer. It was required that he mail the material in a special envelope. He went to the office to obtain the appropriate envelope and left intending to place the material in the mail. He fell, injuring himself, in the parking lot. It was held that petitioner was required to work away from the conventional place of employment and that he was actually engaged in the direct performance of his employment duties while taking the delivery acceptance envelope to the post office.
Next is an example of a case that was held not compensable due to the “special mission” exception not applying to these case specific facts. A police officer who regularly drove an employer-authorized vehicle, a police car, on her daily commute to work was held as not on business authorized by her employer when she was injured shoveling to get the car out of the driveway. The court found that there was no “special mission”.
This use of this “special mission” exception to the coming and going rule is case specific. Workers’ Compensation attorneys are familiar with these exceptions and know when they apply and when they don’t. So if you think your injuries are work related and would fall under this exception, speak to an attorney that specializes in Workers’ Compensation law.