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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

What is the “coming and going rule”?

Nov 10, 2023 |

Wherever you are injured, it is a bad day. However, if you were injured on the job, you may be eligible for Ohio workers’ compensation benefits. But, not every injury that occurs during work hours is covered by these benefits, including the coming and going rule.

What is the coming and going rule?

This rule means that if you are leaving work or going to work, worker’s compensation does not cover those injuries. Though, the coming and going rule only applies if your work schedule is fixed and your place of employment limited, like an office, factory, etc. Ohio law makes this distinction because traveling to and from work is considered unrelated to employment duties.

Exceptions to the coming and going rule

To be clear though, the coming and going rule is not an absolute rule. For example, there is the zone of employment exception. This covers injuries that occur on your employer’s property and the area around it, like the workplace parking lot or sidewalk. These areas are covered because the employer has the duty to maintain a safe working environment.

Special hazard exception

This exception applies if your injury is related to a workplace hazard. For example, if you are injured by a dangerous substance that is from your workplace, but it does not affect you at the workplace, then workers’ compensation benefits may apply.

Totality of the circumstances exception

This exception applies when your employer has some control over or gets a benefit from your movement to or from the workplace. For example, if you are injured while attending a work-related event, even though that injury did not occur at the workplace, it would still likely qualify for benefits. So to would benefits likely flow if you were injured while running an errand for your boss.

Unfortunately, employers do not always take responsibility for the injuries they cause. This is where you may need to do some research and fight back.