Full court rules in favor of comp for woman injured during sex
The woman had been on a business trip in 2007 when the incident occurred in a hotel room. She was injured on her nose and mouth and suffered depression, and was unable to continue working for the government.
The government's insurer initially approved her claim for workers' comp but later rejected it. An administrative tribunal upheld the insurer's view, saying the injuries were not in the course of her employment and that the government had not induced or encouraged her sexual conduct. The panel also said the sex was not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay.
In rejecting that ruling last year, a judge said "if the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room, she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced her to engage in such activity."
The Full Bench said the government's views on the incident were irrelevant. "No approval, express or implied of the respondent's conduct was required," it said.
The government's insurer is considering whether to appeal the case to the High Court, Australia's highest legal authority. "Workers need to be clear about their entitlements and employers should have an understanding of their responsibilities and how to support their staff," said a company spokesman.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 14, 2013
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