Category Archives: Break Time

Worker’s Comp and Wellness Programs: A Good “Fit”?

Making time for wellness may actually make you more productive. This brings up new issues for workers' comp.

A new study says reducing work hours for exercise or other health activities does not diminish productivity but actually could increase work productivity. The study is published in the August 2011 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

A group of employees in a large Swedish health organization was assigned to a mandatory exercise program carried out during regular work hours for two and a half hours per week. Another group received the same reduced work hours but no exercise program. Employees assigned to the exercise program had significant increases in productivity; they felt more productive while on the job and had a reduced rate of work absences due to illness.

In Wisconsin, injuries incurred during on-premise recreation during paid breaks, and encouraged by the employer have been found compensable. 

Such programs raise interesting issues for workers and worker’s compensation claims when engaged in these activities. In Wisconsin, injuries incurred during on-premise recreation during paid breaks, and encouraged by the employer have been found compensable. In contrast, any program event or activity designed to improve the physical well being of the employee, if voluntary and not compensated, is not compensable. Continue reading

Is “icing and heating” the new “donning and doffing”?

This is the first post by guest writer Jon Rehm of Rehm, Bennett & Moore in Nebraska, who will be appearing on our site from time to time.

Today I received a call from a union official at a local packing plant asking me if the company could force injured employees to apply ice and heat to their injuries during break.

I answered it depends on whether the company or the employee receives the predominant benefit of the icing. The predominant benefit analysis is the framework for deciding “donning and doffing cases.” In donning and doffing cases, the issue is whether taking off and putting on safety equipment before and after a shift as well as during meal and break times should be paid. Continue reading