Some On-Call Employees Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In the newly published opinion Shannon v. Roane Medical Center the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled an employee can receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury sustained while on-call.

In the instant case the employee, a surgical technician, was seriously injured in an auto accident while on her way home from the hospital. At the time of the car accident the employee was on-call and subject to being called back into the hospital.

Specifically, the Supreme Court stated: “there is clearly a causal connection between the Employee’s injury and her employment because she would not have been driving home at 2:30 a.m. but for her work at the hospital as a surgical technician. The real issue, therefore, is whether the injury occurred in the course of employment.”

In light of Shannon, the “…Supreme Court has recognized that an injury occurring while an employee travels to or from work is compensable when the travel itself ‘is a substantial part of the services for which the [employee] was employed and compensated.'”

The Supreme Court reversed the trial court and issued an opinion for workers’ compensation benefits to be paid to the employee. In arriving at that conclusion the Supreme Court stated:

“…(U)pon consideration of the totality of the circumstances, we hold that the Employee’s injury occurred in the course of her employment because (1) the Employee was compensated for the time she spent on call; (2) the Employer imposed significant restrictions that the Employee had to follow while on call; (3) the on-call system provided significant benefits to the Employer; and (4) the on-call system required additional travel that subjected the Employee to increased risk.” 

Have you or a loved one suffered an injury at work? If so, please contact the experienced workers’ compensation professionals at Honeycutt & Doyle, PLLC at (615) 244-0749. We can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled under the Tennessee Workmen’s Compensation Act


Published by daverich on 03.14.13

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