Attorneys Karen Vincent and Joe Jones will discuss the issues surrounding off-premises accidents. They will address injuries arising during commutes to work, paid travel time, and business travel. The two litigators will discuss various fact scenarios as examples of when an off-premises injury will be and will not be considered compensable by the courts. At the end of the presentation attendees will have a basic understanding of the “Going and Coming” defense under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act and case law.
Attorneys John Marzolla and Kristen Kapur will cover the “Going and Coming” rule in New York and its application to cases involving off-premises losses and travel. They will explore the basic presumptions afforded claimants under the Law and discuss applicable defenses. At the end of the presentation attendees will have a basic understanding of when the Going and Coming defense applies under the New York Workers’ Compensation Law.
Employees are not deemed to be in the course of their employment when they are traveling to- and from-work. This rule of thumb is referred to as the “going-and-coming rule” or the “portal-to-portal” rule. Basically, there is no door-to-door coverage: the risk of travel to and from work is not distinctly related to any specific employment, and so is generally considered not arising out of and in the course of any particular employment.
Exceptions to the Going-and-Coming Rule
Of course, there are exceptions. For example:
Outside workers – like traveling salesmen – who do not work at a fixed location and are required to travel between work locations. (See Bennett v. Marine Works, 273 N.Y. 429 ).
Paid travel expenses – where an employee is paid to use their own car for work-related travel, an injury occurring during that travel may be found to be compensable.
Some home office situations – the WCB recognizes that it is not unusual for management and professional workers to have home office with links to the employer’s office, making injuries in those locations compensable.
Entering or leaving the employer’s premises – in particular, injuries sustained while the employee is entering the worksite have been held compensable where the entrance to the worksite posed a special hazard. (See Bigley v. J & R Music Elec., 702 N.Y.S.2d 474 [3d Dep’t 2000].)