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Employee Injury Sustained on 'Holiday Trip' Covered by Workers' Compensation
By: Vaughn Burkholder

Are injuries that one of your employees sustains as the result of a “holiday trip” covered by Kansas workers’ comp laws? They are when the “trip” in question happens in the workplace. Confused? Read on. 

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the plant ...

It’s Christmas Eve. Your plant is shut down for the holidays. One of your employees -- let’s call her Virginia -- has waited until the last minute to do her holiday shopping. Even though the plant is closed to the general public, your employees have been told that they can pick up their final paycheck for the year on December 24 or wait until the plant reopens on the 27th.
Virginia needs money to do her shopping, so she goes to the plant to get her check. Unfortunately for her, as she’s leaving her manager’s office, she trips over a scale, falls, and injures herself severely. Is she entitled to make a workers’ comp claim for that “holiday trip‘?
Getting Grinchy
No way that could really happen, right? Wrong, Reindeer Breath! This exact situation was the subject of a Kansas Court of Appeals ruling.
Did the court find this “mistletoe mishap” covered by workers’ comp? Well, you think, for an employee’s injury to be covered by workers’ comp, it must “arise out of and in the course of” her employment. Virginia wasn’t working when she was injured, was she? And your plant wasn’t really even open, was it? Therefore, you merrily conclude, her claim obviously isn’t covered. Wrong again, Elf      Continue Reading...

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