Employee Commits An Illegal Act

If a statute so provides, an employer may deny an employee any benefits if the employee commits an illegal act. However, the employer must show that it is the illegal act that caused the injury and that the injury would not have occurred but for the illegal act. For example, a driver of a truck drives over the speed limit. If he is injured while driving over the speed limit, the employer will make an attempt to deny him worker’s compensation benefits because he was committing an illegal act at the time, i.e. driving over the speed limit. The rationale is that the employee abandoned his employment when he committed the illegal act of driving over the speed limit. The employer may succeed if it can prove that but for the speeding violation, the injury would not have occurred.