Workplace injuries cost employers billions of dollars annually. Injuries raise insurance premiums, prompt other employees to work longer hours, and can even result in a stop work order in Florida. In this two-part article, we are discussing workplace injuries and whether or not employers are liable for paying workers’ compensation. In the first part, we discussed injured workers “off the clock” and workers that experience injuries away from the property. In this section, we will cover other types of injuries that should exclude the employer from coverage.
If an employee is injured while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the employer should not cover the injury. Every industry should promote a drug-free workplace; however, for construction or manufacturing jobs, an intoxicated worker can seriously impact the jobsite and endanger the lives of everyone present. It’s important for employers in these industries to regularly drug test their employees and ensure that they are promoting a drug-free and safe work environment. If a worker is found to be in violation of these policies, you should consider suspending their employment and requiring them to seek treatment.
As we stated in the previous section, if a worker is injured at work, they are eligible for workers’ compensation if they are performing work that benefits the business. If two workers engage in serious misconduct and fight at the workplace, the injuries that result from this exchange should not be covered. There may be exceptions to this rule. For example, if an innocent bystander was injured during the exchange, the employer should cover this employee. Another example is if there were reported issues of one employee threatening another employee and management ignored these issues and an incident transpired, the employer should cover the victim of this attack. It’s best to consult with an attorney if any of these types of scenarios transpire at your workplace.
Was the Injury Related to the Work?
There are many other circumstances that can result in an injury to an employee that should not be covered by the employer. For example, if an employee is injured while commuting to or from work, this is not covered. Similarly, if an employee leaves the workplace for a meal break, the employer is not considered responsible for their health and wellness while they are away from the property.
If your workplace experienced an injury and you are not sure whether or not you are liable to cover the medical expenses, please contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.