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Why after-work activities can still lead to a compensable injury

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The employee filed a workers’ compensation claim for industrial injury arising out of and in the course of his employment (AOE/COE) under section 3600(a) of the California’s Labor Code. He alleged injury to his left ring finger, left middle finger, left pinkie finger, and left hand.

A workers’ compensation administrative law judge ruled in the employer’s favor and found that the employee failed to prove he suffered injury AOE/COE. This decision prompted the employee to ask for a reconsideration.

Injury is industrial

The panel of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board of California issued a decision granting the employee’s petition for reconsideration and returning the case to the judge for further proceedings.

Section 3600(a) makes employers liable for employees’ injuries AOE/COE. This provision may consider the employee to be performing services incidental to employment even if they are doing something purely personal at the time of the injury, the panel noted.

In this case, the employee was on the employer’s premises when he was injured. It was reasonable to expect him to pick up his tools before he left the job, the panel said. His decision to pick up his tools was not a substantial or material deviation from his duties, the panel added.

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