If you haven’t checked for obstructions, hazards or other safety problems around the company time clock or on the way to it, you should. Check the lunchroom for hazards, too.
Ohio’s workers’ compensation law covers employees who are injured while on their way to clock in or out, or while on unpaid breaks or at lunch. A recent case highlights that breaks and clocking in and out are part of the workday—and since these acts benefit the employer, the related injuries are compensable.
Recent case: Teddy Rosada was a janitor and maintenance worker for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. On his way to clock out for lunch, Rosada’s foot was crushed by a moving company vehicle. He missed 10 months of work and filed a workers’ comp claim.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation said he was due benefits, but the Industrial Commission of Ohio threw out the claim. The Ohio Court of Common Pleas also said he wasn’t eligible because walking to the time clock didn’t “arise out of his employment.”
But the Court of Appeals reinstated Rosada’s claim, ruling that because clocking in or out helps employers comply with wage-and-hour laws, injuries that occur during that time “arise out of employment” and are eligible for workers’ comp payments. (Rosado v. Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, No. 87922, Court of Appeals of Ohio, 2007)