Monday, April 6, 2009

Injuries Sustained During Recreational Activities and Employer Sponsored Social Events and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation

In many states, workers’ compensation covers people who are injured at company picnics, employer-sponsored social events, and employer organized recreational activities.

The Minnesota legislature, however, decided to limit the types of employer sponsored social and recreational activities that are considered to be within the course and scope of the employment. What this means is that many injuries that occur at company picnics, company softball games, employer-sponsored social events, and other employer organized recreational activities are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Specifically, Minnesota Statute Section 176.021(9) (1988) provides:
Injuries incurred while participating in voluntary recreational programs sponsored by the employer, including health promotion programs, athletic events, parties, and picnics, do not arise out of and in the course of employment even though the employer pays some or all of the costs of the program. This exclusion does not apply in the event that the injured employee was ordered or assigned by the employer to participate in the program. Minn. Stat. § 176.021(9) (1988).
This does not mean, however, that all injuries that occur at employer-sponsored events are excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. In order to fall within the exclusion set forth in the statute, (1) the event must be “recreational,” (2) the activity must have been voluntary, and (3) the employee must not have been ordered or assigned to participate in the program.

If you have been injured at an employer-sponsored “Fun Day,” picnic, party, or other recreational or social activity, you should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to determine whether your injuries are covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation. These cases are very fact specific, and workers’ compensation insurance companies almost never voluntarily pay benefits in these circumstances. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers to determine if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, call Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.

Visit Minnesota Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm, Meuser & Associates, P.A., at
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