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Ezzy v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. - 146 Cal. App. 3d 252, 194 Cal. Rptr. 90 (1983)

Rule:

The test of "reasonable expectancy of employment" consists of two elements: (1) whether the employee subjectively believes his or her participation in an activity is expected by the employer, and (2) whether that belief is objectively reasonable. The effect of this test is to recognize only expectations which are objectively reasonable. 

Facts:

Marilyn Ezzy was a female law clerk for law firm of Gassett, Perry & Frank (GPF) and was injured during a softball game that GPF had sponsored. The games were played regularly, and a certain number of females were necessary for each game. Female employees were therefore asked to participate, and Ezzy testified that she thought she was expected to participate. A workers' compensation judge found that Ezzy's injury did not arise out of and in the course of GPF's employment and that decision was affirmed by the California Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. Ezzy challenged that ruling and was granted review by the appellate court.

Issue:

Did the injury to Ezzy's finger, which occurred during a company-sponsored softball game, arise out of and in the course of her employment, and is therefore compensable?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The court held that Ezzy's injury was compensable under Cal. Lab. Code § 3600(a)(8) because Ezzy subjectively believed that GPF expected her to participate in the games and, under the facts presented here, that belief was objectively reasonable. The court annulled the decision of the California Workers' Compensation Appeal Board.

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