Travel, Lodging, and Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claims

tim-mossholder-212047-copy-300x200In today’s work climate, it is not unusual for a company to require one or more of its employees to travel and lodge away from home for work. This might be the case for a construction company that travels around Georgia from worksite to worksite, or for a tech employee based out of Atlanta who has to travel to perform work. In either case, if the employee is injured while staying where his or her employer requires, could that employee apply for workers’ compensation under Georgia law?

This question can easily be answered in most cases, but because of the fact-based nature of any workers’ compensation claim, it requires the experience of a qualified Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. This is an important point about Georgia worker’s compensation law of which most people may not be aware, and why speaking with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer is so important.

Continuous Employment: When it Applies

When an employee is injured while at the lodging or in transit away from home, that injury should be covered by Georgia workers’ compensation law. This rule of law goes back to 2007 when an employee of a company was injured while running a personal errand. He was from Florida, but his job required him to travel to Georgia, and the company he worked for provided lodging for him while on the job.

The company fought the application for coverage because the employee was not at work when hurt, but the Georgia Supreme Court upheld his claim. Under their ruling, as long as the employee was in transit to work or to his employer-provided lodging, he was covered under the continuous employment doctrine. This was an important ruling because it extended coverage to workers who took on additional risks by traveling from home in order to comply with their employers’ demands. If you are unsure whether you have can be compensated through workers’ compensation for your workplace injury, contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer today.

Continuous Employment: An Exception

While this was an important ruling for any worker required to travel and lodge away from home, it was not an absolute. The Georgia Court of Appeals recently made a ruling that significantly narrowed the applicability of this rule. In that case, the injured employee broke his ankle on the weekend while staying at his employer-provided lodging away from home. But there was a key difference in this case.

The key difference in this case was centered on whether this man was required to stay in his employer-provided lodging. In this case, the injured employee was staying in employer-provided lodging over the weekend, but was not required to. He was only required to stay in the hotel from Monday to Friday, and could go home on the weekends if he wanted to. As a result, the court ruled that he was not engaged in continuous employment.

Your Workers’ Compensation Attorney Serving Atlanta

If you are injured in the workplace, or while on work assignment, you have rights. To understand and defend those rights, contact us. At The Angell Law Firm we are the worker’s compensation attorney in Atlanta that your case needs and deserves. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

(image courtesy of Tim Mossholder)