Suffering a serious injury during a company softball game doesn’t just ding your pride. It can also be expensive, because in many situations a company’s workers’ compensation insurance does not cover corporate sporting events.
Sports injuries typically aren’t work-related
A basic requirement for coverage under Nevada’s workers’ compensation law is that an injury must have arisen out of and in the course of the employee’s employment. NRS 616A.020. But the law provides a specific exception for “any injury sustained by an employee while engaging in an athletic or social event sponsored by his or her employer.” NRS 616A.265. By statute, these types of injury do not “arise out of or in the course of employment,” and therefore are not covered by workers’ comp.
There are two exceptions to the general rule. First, if the employee is compensated for participating in the event, the injury will be covered. If the employer allows hourly employees to clock in during games, this exception may apply. The workings of this exception are less clear for salaried employees who do not report their time.
The second exception is for school district employees. A school district employee will be covered by workers’ compensation during any event sponsored by the school district, or by a student group, class, or organization, provided the event is “reasonably related to the employee’s job with the school district.” The employee’s involvement in the event must have been at the request of a supervisor, and the employee’s participation must have been for the safety and well-being of students. NRS 616A.265(3). In a nutshell, this exception ensures that school district employees can assist with student athletic events without bearing personal financial risk for potential injury.
Company sporting events and personal injury lawsuits
The general rule that corporate sporting events are outside the scope of employment has an important consequence for injured employees. An employee typically can’t sue an employer for a personal injury suffered on the job. But if the injury is not covered by workers’ compensation, because it does not “arise out of or in the course of employment,” the ordinary bar against lawsuits doesn’t apply.
When would an employee want to sue an employer for sports-related injuries? It will depend on the circumstances. Personal injury lawsuits generally require that the defendant have acted negligently. If the employer sponsoring an event does not provide proper safety equipment, it might be committing negligence. The same may be true if the employer doesn’t respond with reasonable care to the injury itself.
A personal injury lawsuit can be a longer and more challenging way to get compensated for an injury, but in some situations it may be the only option. At Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez we have helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover awards for personal injury for over 45 years. If you have been injured during a corporate sporting event and you have questions about your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or request a call through our website