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What is the coming-and-going rule for workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

When it comes to pursuing workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of an employment-related crash, the “coming-and-going rule” may come into play. This standard generally impacts cases in which a worker has sustained harm during their commute to and from work.

Generally, this kind of harm is not covered under workers’ compensation in California, however, there are notable exceptions to this rule.

When travel is related to one’s job expectations

At its core, the coming-and-going rule asserts that the risks taken during one’s commuting to and from work are personal and not directly related to employment duties. Hence, if an employee gets injured during their regular commute, this is typically not considered a work-related injury, and is thus, not compensable under workers’ compensation. The rationale behind this rule is that an employer does not have control over the conditions of an employee’s commute and, therefore, should not be liable for incidents occurring during that time.

However, there are several exceptions to this rule that can qualify an employee for workers’ compensation benefits despite an injury occurring during their commute. These exceptions include use of a company vehicle, travel while on the clock – or in other ways directly related to one’s job duties, travel that includes work-related errands requested by an employer, use of employer-provided transportation of any kind and harm sustained on an employer’s premises.

Understanding these exceptions can help workers to understand whether any injuries sustained while commuting might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. While the workers’ compensation system isn’t always straightforward, it is designed to serve the needs of injured employees under a variety of circumstances, so it’s generally a good idea to look into one’s eligibility in the wake of suffering work-related harm.