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Happy Hour and Workers’ Rights

Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a traveling salesperson was eligible for workers compensation after he was injured in a car crash following a work-sponsored happy hour in 2015. The injured salesman works for the corporate apparel company Cintas Corporation.

According to Law360, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices ruled that that the state’s “traveling employee doctrine” applied to the situation. Even though the event was a work-sponsored happy hour and voluntary, the Cintas employee still on the job at the event unless Cintas could prove that he wasn’t.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling was unanimous, and it overturned a 2019 ruling from Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court. Even if work may not have been discussed at company happy hour, the event still benefited the employer by fostering relationships and improving morale.

Justice Mundy stated that the Cintas employee’s case applied to the traveling employee doctrine since he had to travel to perform his job earlier in the day, which overturned the initial worker’s compensation ruling that denied Peters compensation. In addition, since Cintas organized and paid for the happy hour event, which was done for the company’s benefit, it was ruled to be within the scope of Peters’ employment, even though attendance for the event wasn’t required.

With this case, it shows that all types of workers can be injured while working. Work injuries can cause major setbacks to anybody. It can deter someone’s ability to do basic everyday tasks as well as working to provide for themselves and family.

At O’Connor Law, we believe that people who get injured while working on the job are entitled to the Workers’ Compensation benefits that they deserve. Our trusted team of attorneys has years of professional experience with Worker’s Compensation cases. If you or someone you know applied for Workers’ Compensation benefits and have been denied, please contact our firm for more information on how we can help with your case.

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