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Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Injuries that Happen at Employer-Sponsored Halloween Parties?

Employees can file for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on company premises during regular working hours. With Halloween a few days away, there are plenty of things to be afraid of, and not all of them go bump in the night. Some of them can cause bumps, bruises, broken bones, and other injuries everywhere from the break room to the conference room.

Causes of Halloween Injuries

Halloween celebrations can be as innocuous as wearing costumes and trick-or-treating. However, even these activities can cause injuries. Workers can suffer slips, trips, and falls caused by costumes. Workers can suffer allergic reactions to treats and other candies. And, raucous games and horseplay can cause broken bones, lacerations, burns, and other injuries. Even certain costumes can cause psychological trauma that can make a worker feel uncomfortable or discriminated against. The risk of injury increases when alcohol and other mood and mind altering substances are involved.

Employer’s Premises & Sponsorship

For an employee in Nevada to file workers’ compensation claims for Halloween or other social gatherings such as Christmas parties, retirement celebrations, 4th of July, etc., the injury must occur on the employer’s premises. Moreover, employees must be “on the clock” and getting paid at the time of the injury.

This is crucial because Nevada workers’ compensation law requires that employees who file workers’ compensation claims for injuries sustained during social events be paid during the course of the social event. Otherwise, it is considered outside the course and scope of their normal employment.

Equally important, the employer must sponsor the activity. This does not mean they must provide financial support for the activity to occur. It means they can merely have knowledge of the activity and allow it to occur on their premises. They may also organize activities such as competitions, games, obstacle courses, etc. that can cause potential injuries. In many cases, employers provide food, and sometimes alcohol which can contribute to dangerous behaviors that can cause serious personal injury, assaults, and wrongful deaths. The consumption of alcohol may also make it inherently dangerous to participate in the activities, games, etc. organized by the employer. 

Documenting Work-Related Injuries

Workers in Nevada injured during Halloween or other holiday parties should adhere to company reporting requirements and all established statutes. This means promptly filing injury reports and thoroughly documenting the injury with eyewitness statements, medical expenses, and other evidence that establishes the impact on the individual’s ability to work. 

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