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Worker Performing Duties Not in Job Description Gets Work Comp Benefits

Posted on July 26, 2011 to

A Virginia grocery store employee was helping a delivery driver move some cases of beer that the store did not accept. The employee felt pain in her left shoulder after helping the driver for some time. She then tried to move a chair and felt more shoulder pain. She went to a doctor who told her she tore her rotator cuff. She sought workers’ compensation benefits and the Virginia Court of Appeals said she could receive benefits, according to a story at riskandinsurance.com.

The court said that when the employee was hurt on the job, the assisting the delivery driver was outside her job description. However, she could still receive workers comp benefits because the employer did not prohibit the work, and because the work furthered the employer’s interest.

Her employer disputed the claim stating that moving the beer cases and the chair were not a part of her employment. The claimant admitted that she did not have to help the delivery driver, but the duties were part of her job description. The court said that the claimant was helping the driver move the beer cases because the employer did not accept them. The claimant was furthering the store’s interest, said the court.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

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Approved by attorney Julie Heiden