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Injured playing on company team

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Q. If an employee is injured at a company-sponsored softball game, where participation is purely voluntary, is the injury compensable under workers’ compensation?

A. Probably not. The North Carolina Supreme Court earlier this year weighed in on this subject and found an injury resulting from a go-kart accident during an employer-sponsored “Fun Day” was noncompensable.

For an injury to be compensable under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act, it must be an injury “arising out of and in the course of the employment.” Citing older authority, the court wrote: “Where, as a matter of good will, an employer at his own expense provides an occasion for recreation or an outing for his employees and invites them to participate, but does not require them to do so, and an employee is injured while engaged in the activities incident thereto, such injury does not arise out of the employment.”

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