Employees do not only suffer injuries while actively in the service of their employer. Some injuries occur outside working hours while the employee is traveling to or from work. Workers' compensation for such injuries may be recovered only if they occur on the employer's premises. The employer's "premises" is not just that area in which the employee normally works or where the majority of work performed for the employer takes place. Rather, "premises" encompasses the entire grounds of the employer, including all buildings and structures thereon as well as parking lots. Generally, compensation will be denied if the employee was injured elsewhere. Additionally, this "going and coming" rule for compensability is only applicable when the employee has established working hours and a set working location.
Many jurisdictions have an exception to the requirement that the injury take place on the employer's premises. When there is only one reasonable or normal route for employees to follow in order to arrive at their working location, any special hazards along that route become the responsibility of the employer. The general theory for the exception appears to be that when employees can only reach their place of employment over a single route, that route becomes an extension of the employer's premises such that any special hazards that befall the employee while following the route are those specially connected with his employment.
Copyright 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.