A temporary university worker failed to prove that her case on the way to submit her time card was work-related, an appeals court held on Tuesday.
In Purcell v Illinois Workers Compensation Commission Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, Workers Compensation Commission Division upheld an Illinois Workers Compensation Commission decision denying a worker a claim for benefits after finding that she could not prove that her accident occurred due to her employment.
Emily Purcell worked as an administrative assistant temporarily at the University of Illinois. She was paid for 7.5 hours of work per day, Monday to Friday, and had to leave her office daily to perform various tasks around campus.
Every other Friday, she had to hand in her time card to the staff. Services building. On September 9, 201
She admitted that there was only one fence just 15 meters to the left of where she fell and that no obstacles would have prevented her from taking a road that did not require crossing a fence.
The university said that temporary staff were not paid for the time it took them to physically hand in their time cards and that a dropbox was available for cards handed in outside hours.
An arbitrator found that Purcell's misunderstanding that she could submit her time card during working hours did not make her activity work-related and found that her decision to skip the fence was a personal risk unrelated to her employment. The Commission agreed to deny her workers compensation for her injuries.
She appealed, but the Board of Appeal upheld the Commission's decision, claiming that Purcell's damage was not due to her employment. The court held that her decision to skip the fence rather than walk around would "have only taken a few extra seconds" and her choice, which led to the injury, "was to her own advantage and not to the benefit of the university."
also dismissed her claims that she was a traveling employee because she routinely performed tasks outside the office and confirmed the Commission's decision that her act of traveling to other campus buildings "was not an essential part" of her employment.