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Cheat Sheet: What are the Exceptions to N.Y. ‘Coming and Going’ Rule?

20 Jun, 2023 Chris Parker

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New York, NY ( -- The general rule in New York workers’ compensation law is that an employee is not entitled to benefits for an injury that occurs on the way to or from work.

There are exceptions to that rule, including several discussed below. However, whether the rule, or one of exceptions applies, is a factual issue for the workers’ compensation board to determine. That means, that, whatever the board decides on the issue is likely to stick, and it will be difficult to reverse the decision on appeal.

For that reason, employers that wish to argue that the rule applies and/or that none of the exceptions apply, should focus their efforts and arguments on the board’s review of the case.

Work-Related Travel
This exception may apply to:
--> A worker who is injured while entering or leaving her employer’s place of business.
--> A “hybrid” employment situation where the employee works in the office as well as at home.
--> An employee who works outside of the office and lacks a fixed worksite (e.g. a door to door salesman).

Special Errand
This exception may apply to:
--> A worker who is injured while running an errand for her employer at the employer’s direction and for the employer’s benefit. Thus, a two-part test applies:
(1) Did the employer encourage or direct the errand?
(2) Did the employer benefit from the errand in any way?
Note: This exception may apply even if the errand is not strictly work-related (the boss asks the employee to pick up his lunch and the employee is injured on the way to the restaurant). However, it may not apply it if the substance of the errand is too far afield—that is, if it is an unreasonable request and insufficiently related to work.

Company Car
This exception may apply to:
--> An employee who drives a vehicle provided and paid for by his employer.
--> An employee who drives a company vehicle that bears the company’s logo.

Business Trip
This exception may apply to:
--> A worker who is injured during a business trip for which she receives compensation from her employer.

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