If you’re injured while working in New York, you may come across the mysterious phrase “company time”. As in, you must be injured on “company time” in order to qualify for workers’ comp insurance.
As you can imagine, the definition of what “company time” means can vary depending on whether you are the employee or the employer. Some employees have been surprised when their employer denies their workers compensation claim and are told it is because they were not injured on “company time”.
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For example, a worker running errands for the company is hurt in an accident. The accident did not happen on company property, so the company does not want to pay for workers’ comp benefits. However, in this case the worker ended up with benefits because she had been asked to run the errand by her employer – so she was on “company time”.
In another example, a worker is hurt on her lunch break in the company cafeteria. The company argued that she was on a lunch break and therefore not on “company time”. Again in this case the worker got her workers’ comp benefits, as it was ruled that she was on the employer’s premises and eating in the company cafeteria was within the scope of her employment.
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As you can see, in some cases what a worker thinks is “company time” differs from what an employer thinks. If your employer wants to deny your workers’ comp claim because you weren’t on “company time”, don’t just give up – make sure you talk to an experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney first.