The Legislature created for industrially injured employees the right to receive Temporary Disability benefits in order to afford them with a stream of income during the recuperation period for the purpose of expediting their return to work.
Occasionally, the Courts enable the perpetuation of gamesmanship. In Saldana v Color Spot Nurseries 2017 Cal.Wrk. Comp. P.D. 46, the employee asserted four Applications alleging injury AOE/COE to multiple body parts.
Injury from voluntary participation in off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity not constituting part of work duties is not compensable pursuant to LC §3600(a)(9). The exception is where the activity is a reasonable expectancy of, or is expressly or impliedly required by the employment:
(1) The employee must subjectively believe that the participation is expected and
(2) His/her belief must be objectively reasonable.
See Ezzy v. WCAB 48 CCC 611 where the injured worker’s belief that participation in a work-sponsored softball game was objectively reasonable. The facts include that she was the only female law clerk; there was no posted statement by the employer that the participation was voluntary and supervisors told her they needed four women to play so as not to forfeit the games.
In a recent decision, the Workers’ Comp Appeals Board affirmed its prior decision in Aguilera v. Collins Chiropractic Group which said that a plaintiff’s industrial injury caused only 88% permanent disability rather than the 100% determined by the Workers’ Comp Judge.