Injury While Running Errands For Employer
while running errands for an employer generally arise out of
employment. This is true even where the injury occurs off of the
employer’s premises. Coverage here is broad and extends to trips to
and from work in some cases, as the following examples illustrate.
The first example is
that of a mineworker hired to ensure that oil heaters in the mine
remain lit. Although he might spend only one hour in the mine, he
might spend three additional hours commuting to the mine and to the
store to purchase oil. If this employee is paid hourly for all four
hours, then his travels to and from the mine and to and from the store
are errands for the employer. Thus, injury occurring during the course
of completing those errands is compensable.
Another example is
that of an employee who is called back to his place of employment
during irregular working hours at his employer’s request for a purpose
such as ensuring that doors are locked. Although he is commuting to
and from work, this commute is within the scope of coverage since it
is treated as an errand for the employer.
Note also that this
extended scope of coverage applies to errands and trips performed by
an employee for the joint purpose of serving the employer and the
employee. Thus, if an employee happens to personally benefit from
running an errand for the employer, such benefit does not change the
character of the errand from being within the scope of employment.