The Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947

Other than the private use of cars, studies show that more Americans are also driving for reasons that are related to work. Work-related driving includes making a delivery, picking up a package, driving a co-employee or employer to a job location, meeting with a client, and making an ocular visit to a job site – these are just some of the factors that make work no longer just confined inside the office.

It is, of course, important that people,whose work brings them out in the field a lot more often, understand their legal right, in case they get involved in an accident wherein they are at-fault or wherein they are the victims. This is because, outside of the office, workers or employees are more prone to serious injuries which can end up in them being disabled.

Now, workers who sustain job-related injuries, especially injuries that lead to temporary disability (these are injuries that may last for weeks or months, but less than a year) are entitled to receive financial benefits from the state-administered Workers’ Compensation insurance program. While heading to work and heading home from work are not considered part of the job, an employee who was required by his or her employer to run any errand before going to work or before heading home after work is (still performing his or her job). Thus, in the former situation, if the employee ends up in an accident along the way, he or she cannot be eligible to file for Workers’ Compensation benefits; in the latter situation, however, he or she is eligible. This eligibility is based on the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, which recognizes any act performed in behalf of the employer, even outside work hours, as still part of work and, therefore, requires payment.

According to the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, law firm, the circumstances surrounding every transportation accident are unique. Depending upon the nature of an employee’s accident, vehicle, and job position, he or she may be eligible for compensation related to injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other considerations.

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