Your alarm goes off and it is that early time of day when it's time to head out for the office. For those who don't have time to perk up with coffee before leaving the house, they often rely on the coffee in the office to give them their needed energy boost to attack the day. And even those who do drink coffee from home will often find themselves making a pot at work to recharge during the day.
Based on that scene, it doesn't sound completely unreasonable to associate making coffee with work. But is preparing coffee a work-related function? This might sound like a silly question, but it was at the center of a serious workers' compensation case from out of state involving a worker who was injured while brewing a pot of coffee at her place of work.
A Missouri woman went to the extent of suing her employer for workers' compensation benefits after she fell at work and broke her hip and pelvis. She was at her place of work and attempting to dump some coffee grounds when she tripped, fell and sustained the fractures. She's put up a persistent legal fight to get the compensation she believes she deserves but has faced defeat in her state's supreme court.
The court ruled that making coffee was not directly related to the victim's job. She might have been on the clock and at the office, but it wasn't as though she was performing her specific job when the fell took place. Also, the court believed that the fall was connected to the plaintiff's shoe, not her job.
Workers' compensation claims can be complicated and some employers and their insurance companies will battle hard to save themselves from having to pay out. But when an injury keeps a person from working and they aren't getting paid, it becomes a matter of supporting the everyday life of a person and perhaps her entire family. In certain circumstances, it is undoubtedly worth fighting for one's workers' compensation benefits.
Source: Human Resource Executive Online, "Worker's Coffee-Making Injury Not Compensable," Kristen Frasch, July 12, 2012