Workers' Compensation

Arkansas: Car-pooling With Co-Employee Does Not Bring Commute Within Course and Scope of Employment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substantial evidence did not support an award of workers’ compensation death benefits to an employee’s minor child where the employee was fatally injured in a car accident while carpooling home, held an Arkansas appellate court. The Court reasoned that while it was certainly true that the employee lived some distance from the employer’s “base” in Shreveport, Louisiana, most of his employment activities took place near that employment base. The employee was not, therefore, a traveling employee. Moreover, the fact that he was part of a carpool operated by a co-employee did not change the essential character of the daily commute. All the employees were provided with a $50 per diem, to use as they saw fit. They could get a motel room or commute back and forth from home. The employer did not control the choice the employee made. The co-employee provided the deceased employee with a ride on a gratis basis (some evidence suggested the deceased had “chipped in” for gas). There was no employer-provided transportation involved in the instant case, said the Court. The ordinary going and coming rule barred recovery.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Wayne Holden & Co. v. Waggoner, 2016 Ark. App. 309 June 8, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 14.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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