An issue that frequently arises is what happens if an employee is injured on his way to or from work? Does workers’ compensation cover the injured employee? “With regard to injuries that occur off of the employer’s premises while the employee is going to or returning from his or her regular place of work, case law instructs that such injuries generally do not arise out of or in the course of employment and are not compensable.” Quinn v. CP Franchising, LLC, 208 So.3d 141 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). However, there always exceptions to the general rule.
Special Errands and Missions
There is a “special errand” or “mission” exceptions to the going and coming rule apply for all employees except for law enforcement officers. The “mission” exception is most commonly referred to as the “dual purpose” exception where an employee’s trip was required to perform a business purpose other than just getting the employee to or from the workplace. This means that if an employee is running an errand for his or her supervisor or taking work home to work from home, etc. then the trip home would be covered under workers’ compensation.
The “special errand” exception applies when an employee is either going to or coming from work on a special errand given to her form the employer and is injured while doing so. A perfect example of this is when an employee may be on vacation from work but is required by her employer to call into the office daily to check in and while getting to the phone for this “special exception” is injured. Whenever an employee is asked to do something “special” from their normal job duties, this irregular activity creates a special circumstance where workers’ compensation benefits should apply.
With the numerous exceptions that apply to the “going and coming rule” for workers’ compensation, it is best to consult with an expert to provide you guidance. Your employer and their insurance company are not going to advise you of the exceptions that apply. It is your responsibility to protect your rights and that includes looking out for the benefits that you are properly due under the law for work-related injuries.