An Australia public servant is entitled to workers’ compensation for an injury sustained in the bedroom, according to a recent court decision.
“Susan” worked in the human relations section of a Commonwealth government agency. On a business trip, Susan had a rendezvous with a male friend in her motel room, which was booked by her employer. During their tryst, a glass light fitting above the bed was pulled from its mount and Susan injured her face.
The woman filed a workers’ compensation claim for facial and psychological injuries. She was denied WC by ComCare, the workers’ compensation insurer for the Australian Commonwealth Government.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld ComCare’s decision, finding that sexual activity was "not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping, eating or returning to the place of residence from a social occasion elsewhere in the vicinity. Rather she was involved in a recreational activity which her employer had not induced, encouraged or countenanced.”
However, Federal Court Justice Joan Victor Nicholas overturned the ruling, finding that the injuries were suffered in the course of her employment, and Susan is entitled to workers’ compensation.
"If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced or encouraged her to engage in such an activity," Nicholas asserted.
Furthermore, ComCare was ordered to pay the woman’s costs of the appeal and the costs of the proceeding before the Tribunal.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
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