Secretary's wipeout while retrieving sweater from car warrants benefits
New York State Unified Court System, 111 NYWCLR 64 (N.Y.W.C.B., Full Board 2011).
Upon mandatory review, the New York Workers' Compensation Board held that a secretary's accident, when she tripped on a sidewalk crack while walking from her office to her car to get a sweater to wear in the air conditioned office, arose out of and in the course of employment.
What it means: In New York, activities that are both reasonable and sufficiently work-related are compensable. Where the worker takes a short break from her work to retrieve an item from her vehicle to bring into her office, and her car is in a parking spot assigned by the employer, her accident arises out of and in the course of her employment.
Summary: The New York Workers' Compensation Board held that a secretary's parking lot accident arose out of and in the course of employment. The accident occurred while the secretary was engaged in an activity that was both reasonable and sufficiently work-related under the circumstances. The worker took a short break from her work to retrieve a sweater from her vehicle as she was cold due to the air conditioning in her office. Her car was approximately 20 feet away from the back entrance of the employer's premises, in a parking spot specifically designated by the employer for her use. She fell on the sidewalk approximately 10 feet from the entrance of the building, injuring her shoulder, knee, and face.
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June 23, 2011
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