What does “course of employment” mean?

by Kara Dolan-West | May 09, 2014 | Workplace Accidents and Injuries

An employee must be within his or her “course of employment” while injured to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The “course of employment” component of a compensable claim tests the work-connection in terms of time, place, and activity. As a general rule, an employee acts in the course of employment while performing obligations of the employment agreement. Employees need not have actually been performing their specific job duties in order for their injuries to occur in the course of their employment. Nor must an employee be confined to injuries that occur only during the actual use of work tools during work hours, nor to injuries sustained while a worker was on the employer’s premises. Injuries can occur any time, at any location, and to any magnitude, and the injured worker may still have a compensable claim under the workers’ compensation system.

However, there are limits. The Ohio Supreme Court has held that an employee injured while pursuing his or her private or personal business, unconnected with employment, is not acting within the course of employment.

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