The Supreme Court of New Jersey held that the injuries suffered by a volunteer worker at the time were compensable. appellate court decision, and ruled that an employee's role as a volunteer for a corporate event was "a benefit to the employer" and that her injuries were covered by employee compensation.
Kim Goulding worked as an hourly cook for Hackensack, New Jersey. -based North Jersey Friendship House Inc., a non-profit organization that provides vocational training and services to individuals with developmental issues.
On September 23, 2017, a non-profit hosted a "Family Fun Day" event for clients and families and asked employees if they would volunteer. Mrs. Goulding offered to cook, and as she prepared to grill, she stepped into a small pit on the ground and fell, injuring her right foot and ankle.
She applied for compensation to workers, which was denied by a worker assess. An appeals court upheld the decision, arguing that the incident did not provide any benefit to the employer other than increase employees' health and morale.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey disagreed and found that an incident "designed to benefit the employer's clients. , members or customers … "cannot be considered a social or leisure activity" for volunteers.
The court found that the employer presented "some evidence that Family Fun Day improved the health and morale of employees, especially given that there is nothing in the minutes to indicate that employees and their families were invited to participate as guests." [1