Officer strikes out in attempt to receive benefits for injuries from softball game
Case name: New York City Department of Corrections, 111 NYWCLR 267 (N.Y.W.C.B. 2011).
Ruling: The New York Workers' Compensation Board held that an officer's injuries, sustained in a softball tournament with her coworkers, did not arise out of and in the course of her employment.
What it means:
In New York, a worker is not entitled to compensation for injuries occurring in an off-duty, voluntary employee athletic activity that was not part of her work-related duties and not sponsored by her employer.
Summary: The board held that a corrections officer's injuries, sustained in a softball tournament with her department coworkers, did not arise out of and in the course of her employment. In denying benefits, the board noted that the officer was neither required nor compensated to participate in the tournament.
The tournament involved employees from various jails, and practices took place on weekends. Employees had to charge their accruals for time spent participating in the tournament and were required to pay an entry fee. T-shirts, hats, and food were supplied to the employees, but the cost for the items came from the entry fees. The games were not played on the department's premises. The department did not provide equipment for the games or transportation to and from the games. Fliers and sign-up sheets were hung in the jails, and the trophy was displayed in the winning team's jail. The intent of the tournament was to boost employee morale. However, the department offered no incentive for participation in the tournament and did not overtly encourage its employees to participate in the tournament.
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March 5, 2012
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