It is quite common for employees to sustain injuries while engaged in social or recreational activities. An example of a social and recreational injury is when an employee plays on a company sponsored softball team and is injured while sliding into second base during a game. The injured employee is playing on a team sponsored by his employer and the team is comprised solely of employees from the same company – co-workers. This injury is not covered under New Jersey’s Worker’s Compensation Law. The applicable statute only affords benefits if the employee is injured during a recreational or social activity and “such recreational or social activities are a regular incident of employment and produces a benefit to the employer beyond improvement of employee health and morale.”
The 2004 New Jersey Supreme Court case entitled Lozano v. Frank DeLuca Construction 178 N.J. 518 (2004) outlines the factors a Court must weigh when making a determination that an otherwise recreational or social activity can be considered within the scope of employment. The Lozano decision requires that the activity must compel, either directly or implicitly, participation or attendance by the employee. Among those factors to be considered are, “whether the employer directly solicits the employee’s participation in the activity, whether the activity occurs on the employer’s premises, during work hours, and in the presence of supervisors, executives, clients or the like; and whether the employees refusal to attend or participate the employee to the risk of reduced wages or loss of employment.”
As is clear from the Lozano decision, there are many, many factors to consider when evaluating if a social and recreational work injury is compensable. If you have been injured during a social or recreational activity with fellow employees, you may be entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits. Contact an experienced New Jersey worker’s compensation attorney at the Princeton office of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today for a free consultation.
The Princeton, New Jersey Worker’s Compensation law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. can put its New Jersey Worker’s Compensation experience to work on your behalf. Contact an attorney at the Princeton office of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today and learn the benefits available to you.