You should be able to eat and take a rest during your lunch break at work before starting the afternoon shift. Being involved in an accident is the last thing you expect, but it does occur.
What happens if you are hurt at work but have already clocked out for your lunch break? Are you still eligible to file a worker’s compensation claim? Although claims are frequently denied by insurance, this isn’t always right.
Does your boss owe you a duty of care during lunch?
During lunch, your employer’s responsibility to ensure your health and safety is often reduced. They will undoubtedly claim that you are no longer formally at work if you choose to leave the building and the grounds.
Therefore, you are generally presumed to be in charge of your own well-being when you are at lunch or otherwise “off the clock.” There are a few possible exceptions to this rule, though:
- You’re seated in a place provided by your employer. In other words, you decide to have your lunch in a break room or canteen and get hurt because they neglected to maintain something. Most frequently, this may involve trips and slides on damaged flooring or spills.
- You were asked to carry out an errand. On occasion, an employee will work for their employer during lunch. It can involve getting coffee for the team or buying stationery. In these cases, you are performing an activity that is relevant to your job, and if you are hurt while doing it, you may be entitled to compensation.
Even if your worker’s compensation claim is initially denied by an insurer, this doesn’t need to be the end. With legal assistance, you may still be able to claim.