No one ever wants to be the victim of horseplay, an assault, or altercation. Fortunately, in many cases, an injury sustained as the result of horseplay, and assault, or altercation, is allowable if certain criteria are met.
An injury needs to occur during the course of employment in order to be allowable. In order for an injury to occur during the course of employment, it must occur while the injured worker is providing some benefit to the employer.
Horseplay: According to the Department of Labor and Industries’ internal policies, horseplay that minimally interrupts work is usually covered as long as it does not take the worker significantly away from the course of employment. Several factors are considered, including the extent and duration of deviation, if the horseplay was mixed with work activities, if the employer was aware of the practice, and where the injury occurred.
Assault/Altercation: The same factors above also apply to injuries that are the result of an assault or altercation. If the dispute arose from work related issues, then it is likely any resulting injury would be determined to be work related (if the other criteria are met). If the dispute arose solely out of non-work related issues, then it is likely the injury would be determined not to be work related. Additionally, if a worker leaves the jobsite to fight, they are typically no longer in the course of employment.
If your injury is the result of an assault, altercation, or horseplay and you have questions or concerns about your claim, please contact our office.