Workers’ compensation covers over-the-road truck drivers while they are driving from point A to point B, but not all truck driver’s injuries happen on the road. The driver may fall while stopping to eat lunch or suffer an injury at a hotel.
A man who worked for Sangillo as an interstate truck driver was carrying a load of produce from California to New Jersey. He stopped in Wyoming at a truck stop to sleep and, when he awoke, he went to another truck stop to shower. He showered and sat on a bench to put on his boots. The bench collapsed, injuring him.
A workers’ compensation judge awarded the man benefits, finding his injury arose in the course of his employment. On appeal, a decision handed down on August 8, 2018, an Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey reversed the award.
Under New Jersey law, an employee working off the employer’s premises is within the course of employment while engaged in the direct performance of his or her assigned work duties. The Appellate Division ruled that the truck driver was not engaged in the direct performance of his duties when he was injured.
The man argued that showering helped him stay alert and improved his appearance. He presented no evidence that he was drowsy or unable to perform his job without a shower. The Appellate Division compared the man’s injury to any other worker injured while taking a shower at home before work.
If you suffer an injury while traveling for your employer, learn what remedies you have. Talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer at Petrillo and Goldberg at 856.249.9295 or visit https://www.petrilloandgoldberg.com to learn more.