Most employers are required by law to provide employees with workers’ compensation. This ensures that workers can cover medical bills and lost wages when injured on the job.
But are you, as an employer, required to provide workers’ comp benefits through your insurer when workers are hurt going to or coming from work?
Workers’ comp regulations for business owners are not always clear or straightforward. For example, regulations about whether employees are actually “at work” or not when an accident occurs can be confusing.
The “coming and going” rule covers this
Generally, it is held that employees are operating not in the course of their job duties while traveling to or from their workplace. This is known as the “coming and going rule.” What this means is that you, as an employer, are not responsible for workers’ compensation benefits if an employee gets hurt while they’re on their daily commute.
However, there are exceptions to this rule which can complicate matters for business owners. If the employee is running an errand on behalf of your business and sustains injuries while doing so, he or she will likely get workers’ comp benefits.
Another situation that often ends up in the approval of workers’ comp for an employee is when an injury occurs in the business’ parking lot right after or before work begins, especially when you have control over the lot or garage.
You could also be responsible if the worker was injured on a commute to a conference, off-site job meeting or some other work-related activity, particularly if their travel time was paid.
It is possible to fight an unjust or fraudulent workers’ comp claim to save your business possibly higher insurance costs. You should seek legal help to defend yourself if you are facing this situation.