Is Food Poisoning a Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Jobs can come with several types of hazards. From inclement weather and heavy lifting, to chemicals, violence, machinery, and more, an employee can be at risk of various workplace accidents. Under these circumstances, the risks are quite obvious. But there are also some unsuspecting risks that can happen at work. For instance, not many people would consider the food they eat at their place of employment as a risk, but it can be. Food poisoning is a common illness that can cause severe symptoms and pain for several days; and it can be easily contracted in a workplace setting given the right circumstances.

Of course, there’s always a risk of getting hurt or being involved in an accident when you step out into the world. But when it happens while you are at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and damages, so long as the injury occurred while you were performing work-related duties. In the case of food poisoning, the contaminated food or drink must have been consumed while you were doing something for work specifically. If you were not performing work-related duties while consuming the contaminated food that caused you to develop food poisoning, then you would not have a valid workers’ compensation claim; or, it would be extremely difficult proving that you do.

Continue reading to learn 3 examples in which food poisoning would be a valid workers’ compensation claim, and a few more in which it would not.

3 Valid Workers’ Comp Cases of Food Poisoning:

So remember, the contaminated food or beverage must have been consumed while an employee is either performing or participating in work-related activities. Review the 3 examples below for a better understanding of when food poisoning is work-related.

I. Your employer benefited from you eating the food. If your job is to taste food, and your employer benefited from you tasting and eating the food you ate, then you could have a valid workers’ compensation claim. This could apply to food critics, food bloggers, restaurant cooks, servers, bartenders, and other vocations in which food tasting would be common part of the job.

II. Your employer provided the food. If your employer supplies the food that caused you to develop a food-borne illness, you could easily have a valid claim. For instance, if you were attending a mandatory paid work meeting that the employer had catered, and the food gave you food poisoning, it could be a valid workers’ comp claim. In contrast, if you get sick from your own food you brought from home and ate at your desk, you would not.

III. You developed food poisoning from a workplace cafeteria that is for employees only. Some workplaces have cafeterias that are strictly for employees to eat in, while others may have one that is open to the general public and employees. If you develop a food-borne illness in a cafeteria setting that is provided by the employer strictly for employees, you could have a valid claim. If the café is public, you would not.

Get Legal Representation

It can be confusing to understand what constitutes “at work” or “performing work-related duties”, so it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if your workers’ comp claim is a valid one or not. They have the resources, knowledge, and experience to assess your case for validity and implement the best strategies for financial recovery.


Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

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