Workers' Comp Law

The Defense View

More Insight Into the “Coming & Going” Rule or More Confusion?

The coming and going rule is easily applied in the case of employees with a fixed place of business.   It just means that if you’re injured on your way to work or on your way home from work, you are not covered.    The major exception – called the “premises exception” -  is simple too.  That just means that if you’re injured in the office parking lot at the start or end of your work day, the parking lot injury is considered “in the course of” your employment, even though you haven’t clocked in yet or have already clocked out.  

Things get murky with the “traveling employee exception” to the coming and going rule, which finds some commuting injuries compensable, but not all, depending on a complicated assessment of exceptions and exceptions within exceptions.

Recently, the Department analyzed the traveling employee exception in in Dakota Green v. Oldcastle, Inc., Op. No. 13-17 WC (Sept. 27. 2017), a case that asked:  Is the construction worker that is paid  for his travel time to a semi-fixed job site covered for workers’ compensation purposes for an injury sustained on his commute to work? 

Because ALJ Phillips found material facts in dispute and the case was before her on Summary Judgment, the Decision does not give us an answer.   What it does give us, though, is an in depth analysis of the various scenarios that arise when workers are injured on the roadways, and the factors that are pertinent to the primary question faced by the investigating adjuster:  Is the injury compensable? 

More questions?  Call us. 

Oliver Abbott