In a recent case, a Missouri court awarded workers compensation benefits to an employee after he sustained an eye injury at work. The employee worked for a local steel manufacturer and suffered the injury to his eye while welding steel. The employer contended that the employee was not entitled to workers compensation benefits because he was not wearing his protective safety goggles at the time of the injury. The employer introduced its company policy which mandated that all employees shall wear protective eye goggles when welding. Accordingly, the employer argued that the employee was solely at fault for his eye injury by failing to follow company policy.
The court disagreed with the employer’s contentions. It held that although an employer has an unqualified right to limit the scope of its employees’ employment activities and to determine what its employees shall or shall not do, mere disobedience of an order as to the detail of the job duties in question or of a rule as to the manner of performing such work, are not generally sufficient to deprive an employee of the right to obtain benefits under The Workers Compensation Law. For the court, the determining factor was whether the employee’s actions, which admittedly violated company policy, went beyond the sphere of employment. The record indicated that welding was an essential part of the employee’s work duties and was listed in his job description. As such, the court found that the employee’s actions and resulting injury occurred within the sphere of his employment. In the absence of a showing of a significant deviation from his work duties, the court held that the employee was entitled to workers compensation benefits.
Contact an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer
The St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyers at Roskin & Hoffmann, LLC have nearly 50 years of combined Work Comp experience and we have handled some of the most complex Workers Comp cases throughout Missouri. If you have been injured at work, call our knowledgeable attorneys at (314) 821-9013 or send us a Workers Comp question. We look forward to helping you. All communications are returned promptly.
Workers Compensation Lawyers at Roskin & Hoffmann, LLC based in St. Louis, Missouri have nearly 50 combined years of work comp experience. Call our attorneys today.