In Blog, Line and Scope, Workers’ Compensation, Workplace Violence

by Bernard D. Nomberg, Partner, The Nomberg Law Firm

One of the most watched videos the last few days has been a video of the Easter Bunny getting in a fight outside a night club in Orlando. The details of the fight still remain a mystery. But, if the Easter Bunny was hurt in the fight, can he recover medicals or other benefits under workers’ compensation?[1] This depends on several factors, specifically if he was injured while working in the line and scope of his employment and whether the violence was related to the employment.

Assuming the Easter Bunny was rightfully employed, there are a few options he could have for recovery while suffering injuries on the job. Whether he can recover differs between fights involving co-employees and fights involving bystanders, while continuing to look at if the employee was on the job at the time of the assault. The bottom line is that in order to recover benefits through workers’ compensation, the Easter Bunny must have been employed and working in the scope of his employment at the time of the fight and been injured.

For recovery, you must be attacked and injured while you are working on the job and the violence must be related to your employment or job duties. However, even if you were considered to be off the clock, but performing duties at the request or on behalf of your employer, you could still be covered.

Keep in mind that workers’ comp usually does not cover employees who are injured while commuting “door to door” and to and from work. However, these situations are fact specific and depend on each individual case. For example, you could be attacked in your parking lot walking into work, and if your employer is responsible for the parking lot security, they could potentially still be liable. Or, if you are required to park in a specific parking lot and are injured walking into work or while leaving you may have a right to workers’ compensation benefits.

For our other blogs on workplace violence, please visit:

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS IN THE WAKE OF TRAGEDY

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: IS IT COVERED BY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?

We are unsure of whether the Easter Bunny was “on the clock” at the time of the alleged assault, but assuming he was on the clock, working in an area specified by his employer, the fight was not due to a personal issue and performing duties related to his employment, he likely is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits like medical treatment. There is no information as to how the fight broke out among the bystanders, but the Easter Bunny appeared to be trying to break up the fight, which could be reasonably foreseeable based on his job duties.

Alternatively, if the Easter Bunny was the first to strike, as the aggressor, this could potentially bar coverage, even if he was on the job at the time of the assault. Coverage could also be barred if two co-workers bring an issue into the workplace which is going on outside the workplace, which is completely unrelated to employment and causes violence.

If you are assaulted on the job, one of the first things to do is to contact the police and file a criminal complaint against your attacker. In order to maximize recovery available, you need to file the complaint and document your injuries. Notify your employer and request workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment.

Keep in mind that workers’ compensation is not the only remedy for an injured employee. The injured employee could also bring a third party claim against the person who assaulted them.

If you have been injured at work or have questions about workers’ compensation benefits, please call the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the Nomberg Law Firm: 205-930-6900.

Bernard D. Nomberg has been a lawyer for more than 20 years.  Bernard has earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review rating.   In 2018, Bernard was named a Super Lawyer for the 6th year in a row and he was recognized as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Alabama. 

[1] This incident depicted in the video was not the real Easter Bunny but rather some kids who bought the costume to wear around town while barhopping.

 

photo credit: Bad Bunny/Instagram

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