The workers’ compensation system was established to provide benefits to workers with work-related injuries. Basically, this means if a worker is injured while at work or becomes ill as a result of his job duties, he will receive workers’ compensation benefits. It’s clear that these benefits cover injuries that occur while on-the-job, but what about those that are sustained during a meal or rest break?
Meal and Rest Break Injuries
Most employers allow their employees to take short rest breaks and somewhat longer meal breaks at various points throughout their shifts. If an employee is injured while on one of these breaks, the injury is usually not covered by the workers’ compensation system in Oklahoma.
However, there is one exception to this rule. If the break was authorized by the worker’s direct supervisor and the injury occurred while the worker was still inside the employer’s facility, the injury will be covered by the workers’ compensation system. If either of these conditions is not met, the worker will not be able to obtain benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Other Non-Compensable Injuries
This is not the only type of injury that is not covered by the workers’ compensation system. If the employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time he is injured, he is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This can usually be proven by administering a drug test shortly after the accident occurs.
Injuries that are sustained outside of the employer’s facility while an employee is either coming into work or leaving work are also not covered. This is typically true even if the injury occurs within the parking lot outside of the employer’s facility.
There are also certain workers that are not covered by the workers’ compensation system at all. For example, independent contractors, licensed real estate brokers, and federal government employees are not covered. Agricultural workers are also not covered if they work for an employer with less than $100,000 in payroll. Unfortunately, these employees will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even if their injuries occur while they are performing their job duties.
It’s important to understand which injuries are covered so you know when it is appropriate to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you are ever in doubt about whether or not your injury is covered, it’s best to get help from an attorney.
If you have been injured at work, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. Let our team of experienced attorneys fight to recover the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.