According to the CDC, around 1 in 6 Americans get some sort of food poisoning every year, ranging from mild to more serious cases that may require hospitalization.
Food poisoning is a lot more common than you think. According to the CDC, around 1 in 6 Americans get some sort of food poisoning every year, ranging from mild to more serious cases that may require hospitalization.
For most people, food poisoning just presents with some uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The major concern regarding food poisoning is that you lose a lot of fluids which can lead to dehydration. The more severe cases even require patients to be given intravenous fluids to combat this. However, even in mild cases, you may still need to take 1-2 days off to recover. Many workers wonder if they will be compensated,
What Does the Law Say?
Worker’s compensation covers injuries or illnesses that result from your job, either because of the task you perform or the environment you perform them in. It’s a no-fault system, meaning neither party has to prove someone is at-fault, therefore responsible.
When it comes to food poisoning, it’s important to look at how you got it and determine whether the context fits within the scope of your employment. There are three common ways food poisoning may be eligible for worker’s comp:
- Your employer gave you the food – if your employer provides food as part of the job benefits, then you may be eligible for worker’s comp if you get food poisoning from eating it.
- The food was sold in the company’s cafeteria – if the company you work for has its own cafeteria, you may be compensated for food poisoning, as it is the company’s responsibility to ensure the food is safe to eat.
- It was your job to taste the food – if you work in a kitchen, for instance, you may be required to taste the food before serving. If you then get food poisoning because if, this case is eligible for compensation because it fits within the scope of your employment. The same applies to food critics or wine tasters.
When Is Food Poisoning Not Compensated?
If you bring a packed lunch from home, you will not be eligible for worker’s comp if you get food poisoning. Even if you were still at work, on the clock, the fact that you brought the food yourself generally excludes you from these benefits.
The same can be said for ordered lunches from a third-party which you decide yourself, either by going to a restaurant or order to your office. It wasn’t your employer who provided the food, but you chose to eat from that particular place.
How Do You Get Compensated?
It can be difficult to trace back food poisoning to its source, so you may need to work harder and prove your condition was caused by the food at your job. Reach out to an experienced Kansas City MO workers compensation attorney to learn more about your legal rights if you have been injured or fallen ill as a result of your job.
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