SW Legal studies in Business

Being Arrested on the Job Can Be Work-Related for Workers’ Compensation
Description

Oregon appeals court held that a worker arrested while on the job, who suffered an injury during the arrest, may receive workers’ compensation benefits since the arrest was work related.

Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers’ Compensation; Injury; Arrest
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Sisco worked for a towing company in Oregon. He got a call to tow a car at the request of the police. As he was nearing the location where the car was parked, another officer saw him speeding in the tow truck and flashed his lights for him to stop. Sisco kept driving to where the car to be towed was located before he pulled over. When the officer asked for his license, he refused to give it saying it was his “sovereign right” to not show his license. He locked himself in the tow truck and refused to get out. The officers used a stun gun, pulled him from the truck, forced him to the ground, and handcuffed him. Sisco received assorted citations. A few days later he went to the doctor because of back pain. The doctor said it was caused by damage to the nerves along his spine, probably because of the arrest. Sisco filed for workers’ compensation. The employer refused the claim. The administrative law judge and workers’ compensation board held against Sisco. Being arrested was not part of doing his job properly, so the injury was not “in the course of employment.” Sisco appealed.

Decision

Reversed and remanded. The injury suffered during the arrest arose from a work-related risk. The injury would not have occurred had he not been driving for his employer to tow a vehicle.

Citation Sisco v. Quicker Recovery, ---P.3d--- (2008 WL 650620, Ct. App., Ore., 2008)

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