IL Industrial Commission finds off-premises break-time injury non-compensable
Illinois Workers Compensation Legal Update
On Sept. 28, 2018, the IL Industrial Commission handed down the award in Suits v. Marquette Group. (Read the entire decision HERE. ) In this case, claimant was on break and was taking a walk off-premises, slipped and fell on a sidewalk, and filed a claim for compensation.
The IL Industrial Commission found the claim to be non-compensable. “In lunch hour cases, the most critical factor in determining whether the accident arose out of and in the course of employment is the location of the occurrence. Thus, where the employee sustains an injury during the lunch break and is still on the employer’s premises, the act of procuring lunch has been held to be reasonably incidental to the employment, [citations omitted].” Eagle Discount Supermarket v. Industrial Commission, 82 Ill. 2d 331, 340, 412 N.E.2d 492 (1980). Petitioner was not on her lunch break per se but the same reasoning applies.”
This represents a slight expansion of the prior doctrine applicable to lunch breaks off-premises as the claimant in the attached decision was on a break but not on a lunch break.
If you have employees who go off-premises for breaks of any kind, ensure that you ask injured workers if the accident occurred on or off premises as this can make all of the difference in determining whether a work injury is or is not compensable.
If you have any questions about the applicability of this decision to any specific situations you may have, please feel free to call or email.