We don't often write about international workers' compensation cases, but a recent ruling in an Australian case is notable enough to share on this Alabama blog. If you were on a work trip and got hurt during a sexual "tryst" in your motel room, would you think that you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits?
Officials overseeing the above-mentioned case had a hard time agreeing on the answer to that question. But ultimately, a judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff who was injured in her motel room while on a work trip. She was having sexual intercourse with someone in her motel bedroom when a light fixture fell and injured her.
Initially, the plaintiff's federal government rejected her compensation claim and so did an appeals court. Essentially, they didn't see the injury as the result of work-related activities. A judge more recently disagreed, however, suggesting that the plaintiff's sexual activity at the time of her injury doesn't nullify her claim to benefits.
The plaintiff was at the motel because of a work meeting that she had in the area. She wasn't doing anything illegal when she was injured. If she had been watching television or reading a book when the light fixture fell, the reality would be the same. She was at the location and in the line of danger because of her work trip; therefore, she is entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits.
What do you think about this case? Did the judge ultimately rule how you think he should have? Why or why not?
Source: BBC, "Australian wins compensation for work trip sex injury," April 19, 2012