Court of Appeals affirms decision that assault stemming from claimant hiding another employee’s beer was compensable where the beer was provided as a perk by the employer.
Claimant was a dish washer who was assaulted by a co-employee after their shifts had ended at the restaurant where they worked. The employer allowed employees to have beer on the house after closing and it was undisputed that the claimant hid the beer of a co-employee who then choked and injured the claimant.
The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found at hearing that the behavior was an “inherent part of the workplace” in part because the free beer was provided by the employer as a perk of the employment, and the conflict arose out of a confrontation involving the perk. The Panel of the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel) affirmed the ALJ’s decision.
The Court of Appeals (Court) affirmed the Panel, rejecting the employer’s argument that the claimant deviated from his employment prior to the assault by hiding the co-employee’s beer. The Court determined that the ALJ properly concluded that the activity which lead to the assault was an “inherent part of the workplace” at the restaurant because the activity was condoned by the employer, thereby making it something arising out of and within the course and scope of employment.
Rifle Tequilas, Inc. and Truck Insurance Exchange v. ICAO, 18 CA1367 (July 11, 2019) NSFP.
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