A person must have a “compensation status of some kind” to be considered a traveling employee who is eligible for work compensation after an accident, a Florida appellate court ruled Wednesday.
Jorge Z. Hernandez was an electrician for DSK Group Inc., an employee leasing company that gave him the home remodeling company KBF Renovations. As part of his job, Hernandez drove from his home to today’s first remodeling job, according to DSK Group Inc. and Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Hernandez, was filed in the 1st District Court in Tallahassee on Wednesday.
One morning, while driving to work, Hernandez was injured in an accident involving a drunk driver. The Compensation Judge ruled that Hernandez did not meet the criteria for classification as a “traveling employee”;, which is exempt from the “go and come” rule, but nevertheless concluded that the claim was not excluded because Hernandez was a field employee transporting materials and tools in his car for which he received a gas surcharge of 165 USD.
The Court of Appeals amended and said that there was no doubt that Hernandez did not start work until he arrived at the first job of the day and clocked in. The drive he made to get to the first place of work and the drive he made to get home from the last place of work, would to or come from work, according to the court.
“Hernandez, in fact, was a typical commuter, whose compensated hours began only when he got to work and ended when he went home at the end of the day,” the court said. “He was really ‘an ordinary worker who went to work’ when he was injured in the car accident.”
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