louisiana 890549 640

Do You Know the Rule? Exceptions to ‘Coming and Going Rule’ in La.

09 Jan, 2024 Chris Parker

louisiana 890549 640

New Orleans, LA (WorkersCompensation.com) -- In Louisiana, as in other states, when an employee is injured while traveling to and from work, the injury is considered not to have occurred within the course of employment. The injury, in such circumstances, is not compensable under the state’s Workers' Compensation Act.

This rule is known as the "going-and-coming rule," and is based on the concept that when the workday ends, so does the employee-employer relationship. That relationship doesn’t resume, in most cases, until the worker goes back to work.

Louisiana courts, however, have established the following seven exceptions to the coming and going rule.

1. Injury on premises
The accident occurred on the employer's premises (e.g. parking lot).

2. Specific mission
The employee is deemed to have been on a special mission for the employer when the accident occurred.

The specific mission exception states that when an employee who has identifiable time and space limits on his employment makes an off-premises journey, the journey is brought within the course and scope of employment if the trouble and time of making the journey, or special inconvenience, hazard, or urgency of making it in the circumstances, is sufficiently substantial to be viewed as an integral part of the service itself.

For a mission to qualify as a special mission, the employee must be engaged in the direct performance of duties his employer assigned to him. That is, the employer must have requested, directed, instructed, or required the employee to complete the assigned tasks.

3. Paid travel expenses

When the accident occurred, the employer had interested himself in the transportation of the employee as an incident to the employment agreement by either: contractually providing transportation; or reimbursing the employee for his travel expenses.

4. Implied consent

When the employee was injured, he was doing work for his employer under circumstances where the employer's consent could be fairly implied.

5. Travel between worksites exception

The employee was injured while traveling to and from one work site to another.

When an employer requires an employee to check in at a certain location and then dispatches him to the work site for the day, he is generally in the course of employment when he is travelling between the check-in spot and the work site.

Generally, however, an employee injured on the way home from the work site is out of luck when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim. During that leg of the trip, he is typically not considered within the course of employment.

The exception may or may not apply to variations on the above circumstances, such as where an employee is instructed to report to different work sites, which change periodically, without first reporting to a check-in place.

6. The threshold doctrine

The employee was injured in an area immediately adjacent to his place of employment and that area contained a distinct travel risk to the employee.

This exception applies when the area where the employe is injured is both adjacent to the employee’s premises and an unusually hazardous area. The adjacent area must pose a risk which is greater than the risk to which the general public is exposed.

7. Operating a vehicle is part of the job

Operating a motor vehicle was one of the employee’s job duties.

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