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Can You Receive Worker’s Compensation if Injured on Break?

Mankato Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Minnesota worker’s compensation law has some complexities, but if there is one key thing to remember when it comes to if you can get coverage, it is that the injury must have occurred at work. If you were hurt while off the clock and hanging around with your co-workers on the premises or while you were doing something not work-related, you will find it difficult to get that injury covered by workers’ compensation. However, not all work injuries happen while you are doing your actual job. Accidents often happen when you least expect them, and many times you have no control over when or where they happen. Sometimes work accidents happen during your regular breaks from the job, but can you get worker’s compensation for injuries on these breaks?

“In the Course of Employment” for Worker’s Compensation

In many cases, you will run into roadblocks for workers’ compensation if you were injured on breaks due to very specific language. This language in worker’s compensation law states that in order to qualify for Minnesota worker’s compensation, the injury must happen during the “course of employment”. This means that injuries that happened during any work activities are covered, but non-work activities are not. This can also include doing extra things at your job that are not within the scope of your employment. For example, if you an office worker and decide, on your own, to fix something that is broken, but get hurt, because you are not hired as a handyman or part of the janitorial staff, you may encounter some difficulties receiving compensation for your injuries.

In some cases, being on breaks, like on lunch hours, you may not be able to receive compensation. The key thing to remember here is if you are being paid for those hours. For example, if you are salary and your lunch break is technically paid, if you were hurt during this time, you can collect workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, if you are a factory worker that is required to clock out for lunch, it could be very difficult to get compensation for injuries on a break.

Small Breaks and the Personal Comfort Doctrine

Many workers don’t quite worry about a work injury on their lunch break, but rather they worry about it happening while they are engaging in small breaks. Small breaks include those such as smoke breaks, bathroom breaks, and coffee breaks. It is easy while moving from your work area to accidentally get hurt in incidents that were not your fault. Unfortunately, most don’t realize that they can get coverage for it. Minnesota’s personal comfort doctrine dictates that these small breaks don’t take away from work hours, thus they are considered in the “course of employment.” In this case, you actually could get workers’ compensation for that injury.

This means if you were hurt on a coffee break and your employer denied workers’ compensation, you shouldn’t just take that denial. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, even if it happened on break, you could still get coverage. You simply need the guidance and help of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. If you have been injured in Minnesota while at work, you deserve the compensation that workers’ compensation can provide.

If you were hurt in Minnesota, whether you are just beginning your claim or have had it denied because you were technically on a break, contact us today. We can help you start or appeal your workers’ compensation claim and see it through. Let the Farrish Johnson Law Office come to your aid to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve.

Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Yuri Jelokov, Attorney

Yuri Jelokov

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer