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What does “frolic in the course of employment” mean?

Workers’ compensation claims arise when an employee become injured or ill in the workplace or during the course of employment. When an accident occurs in the workplace during the employee’s work shift, it is more apparent that the injuries are work-related. However, there are times when an employee is injured outside of the job location but still during the workday. This known as the course of employment.

The course of employment includes the actual time period of employment and the time the employee is on the employer’s premises preparing to start or leave from work. The employee may also be in the course of employment while away from the employer’s premises if they are performing a task as a part of their employment. However, an employee may veer off from the scope of employment, which may remove liability of the employer for accidents or injuries that occur during this time period. When an employee’s actions or a major departure from their employment and are for their own benefit, this is called a frolic in the course of employment.

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