When an employee is injured at work, workers compensation benefits may be available to compensate for that employee’s medical costs and lost wages. Examples of such cases involve workers being hurt from falling equipment, or slip and falls on work sites. However, a somewhat new example has shown itself in the “company field day.” The South Carolina Supreme Court recently held that a man was owed workers compensation benefits from injuries he suffered during a company kickball game.
Stephen Whigham shattered two bones in his leg on the last play of the kickball game, and after being denied workers’ compensation benefits multiple times, the Supreme Court, in August 2014 decided that because he was required to attend the game as a part of his job, and because he was injured as a result of being part of that game, he was entitled to receive benefits for that injury.
South Carolina has the Workers’ Compensation Act, law which was enacted to help provide coverage and benefits for injuries that “arise out of and in the course of employment.” Coverage could be clearly met when someone is actively engaged in the performance of their job duties, especially if they are on site. However, in the instant case, the employee was at a company kickball game, away from the place of work, and involved in a recreational activity.