What if you go to a Holiday party sponsored by your employer and get hurt?

Can you claim benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation law?

As a matter of logic you might think you should be able to get workers’ compensation benefits.

You are attending the party to promote the good will of your company.

You are in a hotel lobby having some holiday cheer, listening with rapt attention to your boss’s jokes, and your coworker bumps into you and knocks you down a flight of stairs. Your fall results in broken ribs and and a fractured wrist. You end up with an ambulance bill, emergency room charges, and surgery expenses.

Under Workers’ Compensation law if you are entitled to coverage you will have your bills paid, time off work pay, and a settlement for your broken ribs and fractured wrist.

The problem is that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation law prevents recovery for injuries at employer sponsored recreational events unless they have required attendance.

It does not matter if the boss will be upset if you ignore the party, or if you will be considered a social outcast.

The injured worker will have to prove that attendance is mandatory. This may be difficult unless you have something in writing that provides that attendance is mandatory, or some witnesses who will testify that the boss said that you must show up.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

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