Woman Hurt During Sex On Business Trip Entitled To Workers' Comp
A judge in Sydney, Australia, ruled on Thursday that a woman was entitled to workers' compensation after a light smashed into her face, injuring her mouth, nose and tooth, while she was having sex on a business trip.
The unidentified federal employee was staying in a motel that her employer booked in November 2007, before a work meeting the next day. That evening, she was having sex with an "acquaintance," when a glass light fixture above her head fell, reports The Australian.
She filed for workers' compensation with Australia's federal government's safety agency ComCore, which says its compensation scheme "covers any injury or illness arising out of and in the course of employment."
"This includes coverage for journeys and for ordinary recesses and breaks," it continues.
ComCore, however, thought undressed antics stretched this a little far. It rejected the woman's claim, as did an appeals tribunal. Her injury wasn't covered, the tribunal concluded, because pre-work meeting intercourse wasn't "expressly or impliedly induced or encouraged by her employer."
But the judge, Justice John Nicholas, said that didn't matter. The injury occurred "in the course of her employment," however you swing it. "If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would have been entitled to compensation," he said, "even though it could not be said that her employer induced or encouraged her to engage in such activity."
She wouldn't have been entitled to compensation if the injury had resulted from "misconduct or an intentionally self-inflicted injury," but because sex is a "lawful recreational activity" the employer had to fund her recovery.
But that doesn't mean employees in this country should go out and have vigorous sex on business trips, in the hope of a paid vacation. U.S. worker's compensation law is a little more strict, covering only injuries that occur while a person is carrying out their job duties.
So the only people in this country who can get workers' compensation for sex injuries are possibly CIA agents who have to sleep with high-level Russian nuclear scientists in order to steal access cards from their bedside table drawers, or prostitutes. Unfortunately, pimps are unlikely to subscribe to their state's workers' compensation system.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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