Understanding Intentional Acts by the Employee and How They Affect Work Injuries
Sustaining an injury at work is a consequence that no one would ever wish to happen. It can have serious effects on the individual, causing pain and discomfort, lost wages, and potentially long-term health complications. In situations where an employee gets injured on the job, Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to provide financial assistance to the injured individual. However, some cases involving intentional acts by the employee can be complicated, particularly when it comes to determining if the injury is compensable. This blog post aims to provide insights into acts deemed outside the scope of employment and how they can affect work injuries.
The first thing to understand is that for a work injury to be compensable, it must arise out of the course of one’s employment. There are specific activities that are deemed to occur within the course of employment, such as tasks that an employee is assigned to do or actions that are routine and customary in the workplace. Activities deemed outside the scope of employment can vary depending on the nature of work, but they generally entail actions that an employee engages in independently or without the employer’s knowledge or consent.
Intentional acts committed by an employee that result in an injury can be one of those activities deemed outside the scope of employment. Such acts include fighting, playing practical jokes, or self-inflicted injury. Actions taken for personal reasons or those that disregard safety policies are also examples of intentional acts. If an employee engages in such activities and harms themselves or others, it can be difficult for the injured individual to establish the injury occurred in the course of employment.
In the recent appellate court case of Bassett v. Town of East Haven, 219 Conn. App. 866 (2023), the court determined that certain actions, such as horseplay, could be both within and outside the scope of employment. The court looked at various factors, including whether the activity was customary in the workplace, whether it was done at the employee’s workstation during work hours, and whether the activity was conducted during breaks or off-hours. Therefore, employees must be familiar with the nature of their work and the types of activities that are permitted or prohibited by their employer.
Another factor that can affect an employee’s eligibility for worker’s compensation benefits is whether the injury was reported to the employer in a timely manner. A delay in notifying the employer of the injury can impair the employee’s ability to file for workers’ compensation coverage. Additionally, if an employer investigates the injury and discovers that it resulted from an intentional act, this could compromise the employee’s ability to receive financial help.
It is essential to be cautious about deviating from the course of employment in any way that could lead to possible injury. The nature of intentional acts by the employee is one that is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the specifics of actions may differ based on the workplace environment. Hence, the best possible course of action for employees is to initially speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, who can guide them on how to receive adequate compensation for their injury and how to comply with employer policies and workplace standards. By staying informed and adhering to workplace safety policies, workers can ensure that their claims for compensation are recognized and that they are protected from undue mishaps or risks.
Contact A Stratford, CT Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney today.
If you have been hurt at work and are unsure if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, a Stratford workers’ compensation attorney from the Morizio Law Firm can help answer any questions you may have about your situation. Call our office today at 475-338-3505 for a free consultation.