Accident during mandatory trip deserves workers’ comp

A worker who was seriously injured while driving to mandatory training is eligible for workers’ compensation.

Recent case: Juan Carlos drove to work in the morning. He had mandatory training later that day at a different office. At around noon—the normal start of Juan Carlos’ regularly scheduled lunch break—he began driving toward the meeting. He was severely injured in a crash.

He sought workers’ compensation, arguing he was injured while in the course of employment.

The jury heard testimony that no one had been directed to wait until after their lunch break to travel to the training session. The jury concluded that Juan Carlos was hurt during worktime and awarded benefits. An appeals court upheld the verdict. (State Office of Risk Management v. Peña, Court of Appeals of Texas, 2018)