If an injury occurs during the course of and arising out of employment, an employee in Ohio is entitled to workers compensation benefits. Ohio has a no-fault system for injuries that arise out of employment. The employee does not need to prove that the employer was negligent as long as the injury occurred during the course of employment.
A recent decision from the Third District Court of Appeals found that a car hauler that was required to be on the road five to six days a week and was required to stay in a hotel overnight for his employment was not entitled to participate in the Workers Compensation Fund when he was injured when he fell in the bathroom of his hotel. The Court of Appeals acknowledged that other court decisions have recognized a right to workers’ compensation coverage for employees injured during work-related travel required by their employers. Judge Preston noted, however, that coverage has not been extended to injuries incurred during a traveling employee’s conduct of “personal business” disconnected from his or her employment. The court determined that the requirement of staying in a hotel at the end of the day for work related travel was distinguishable from work related travel, as the fall in the restroom did not have anything to do with the employee’s work related travel. Interesting case that I am sure will result in some hot debate over where the line gets drawn for employees who have to stay away from home for work and are injured. Here is the link to the decision in Woodard v. Cassens Transport Co., 2012-Ohio-4015. http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/3/2012/2012-ohio-4015.pdf