Does Workers’ Comp Cover Lunch Breaks?

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Lunch Breaks?

Workers’ compensation is one of the most important things that protect workers. If you are injured, workers’ comp guarantees that you receive compensation for your injuries. There is a wide variety of things you can be covered for, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Required purchases
  • Future lost wages
  • Lost earning power

However, there are a lot of different aspects of workers’ comp that might be difficult to understand. Having a good grasp of the ins and outs is vital before an injury actually occurs. For instance, you may not know if you can still be compensated if you are injured while on your lunch break. Learn more about this particular situation.

Whether You Are Covered

In all likelihood, if you are injured while on your lunch break, workers’ compensation will not apply. The key to understanding when workers’ comp applies is whether or not you are doing work-related activities. If you are eating lunch or otherwise taking a break from work, then workers’ comp does not apply. Another way to think of it is whether or not you are “on the clock.” Whether or not you are literally on the clock, if you are doing something that your employer expects or requires you to do for your job, then you are covered.

So, for example, if you are sitting in the break room eating and you choke, workers’ comp would not cover that. On the other hand, if you are on break and driving across a construction site and crash your car, that may count as a work-related activity.

Another requirement that you should be aware of is that the injury needs to happen as a result of your work-related activities. Even if you are on the clock and working, if an injury occurs that would have happened regardless of your current activities, workers’ comp probably will not cover it.

Work-Related Injuries Caused by Others

Let’s say you are on your break and not doing any work-related activities. If the actions of another coworker who is doing work-related activities injures you, does workers’ compensation apply? You may be surprised to hear that it does not, but you can still receive compensation. That individual is now responsible for your injuries, rather than the employer. You can file a lawsuit against the individual if he or she refuses to compensate you. Workers’ compensation can create difficult situations, which is why it is always a good idea to speak with a workers compensation lawyer in Nassau County, NY.


Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and lunch break injuries.


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