Employers are liable for damage their employees cause when they hurt customers or bystanders. That’s not the case, however, when those employees are off duty.
Recent case: Diamond Matthews was in a Food Lion grocery store restroom when she was knocked over by an employee rushing into the bathroom. Matthews had to go to the hospital for treatment. She sued, alleging the store was liable.
Food Lion said it wasn’t responsible because its employee had already clocked out and was merely heading to the restroom before going home.
The Court of Appeals of North Carolina agreed. It didn’t matter that the employee was still on the premises. She was no longer under the employer’s control or doing work to benefit her employer. She was off duty and pursuing her personal business. (Matthews v. Food Lion, No. C0A10-73, Court of Appeals of North Carolina, 2010)