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When an exercise injury makes you eligible for workers’ comp benefits

Picture this scenario: a woman is hurt while taking a yoga class offered by her employer on-site as a part of an employee fitness program.  Employees were encouraged by their employer to join the class to get healthy and bond with one another.  The woman claims that this constitutes a workplace injury, and files for workers’ compensation benefits.  Should she get them?

According to the law in New York State, the answer is YES.  Now, in New York, the law does say that you cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt while voluntarily participating in an off-duty athletic activity that is not a part of your work-related duties.


However, there are some exceptions.  If your employer sponsors the athletic activity or if they require you to participate in the activity, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt.


This is an interesting situation that will likely become more frequent as the government, employers, and health insurance companies increasingly focus on employee wellness as a way to keep workers healthy and reduce health-related costs.


If you have any questions about whether or not your workers’ compensation claim is legitimate, or if you are having problems getting your workers’ comp benefits, don’t struggle alone.  Please contact the skilled New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman today.

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