Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for Food Poisoning?

Our attorneys have been assisting the Orange County and Southern California communities for over 40 years.

Request free consultation

Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for Food Poisoning?

Request free consultation
Posted By DAM Firm | December 7 2016 | Workers' Comp

Workers’ compensation benefits provide medical treatment and make up for lost income after an employee suffers an injury at work. This can also extend to illnesses an employee contracts due to the nature of his or her work. One gray area that many employees wonder about is food poisoning.

In any workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker must be able to prove that the injury or illness came about through his or her work duties or any other job-related activity. In most slip-and-fall and workplace injury cases, this is fairly straightforward. However, food poisoning cases in general are difficult to prove, because you must be able to show a court exactly how you contracted food poisoning. It’s even more difficult to prove your food poisoning was work-related, and there are a few special considerations for such claims.

Proving Your Food Poisoning Was Work-Related

If you contract food poisoning and believe it to be work-related, you must consider a few factors. For example, if you got food poisoning from eating your leftovers from home during your lunch break at work, that would not count as work-related food poisoning. Even though you ate at work, your employer had no interaction with your food, thus this instance would not be eligible for workers’ compensation.

There are only a few cases in which food poisoning can be work-related:

  • The employer supplied food. If on-the-job meals are a work benefit and part of your compensation, and the employer provided the food that made you sick, then your food poisoning case may qualify for workers’ compensation.
  • Food sold in a workplace cafeteria specifically for employees. Some employers opt to have lunch trucks or local caterers provide food to employees. Food poisoning originating from such vendors would not qualify as work-related food poisoning. If the employer has a cafeteria that is strictly for employees, any food poisoning contracted from eating at the cafeteria would likely be work-related.
  • Eating the food was part of your job duties, or your employer benefited from you eating the food in question. Some companies employ “secret shoppers” to get firsthand accounts of their employees’ performances. This includes restaurants, so if your job as a secret shopper required you to eat food gave you food poisoning, your case would be work-related.

Filing a Claim for Work-Related Food Poisoning

As with any other job-related injury or illness, your first priority should be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once your immediate medical concerns are out of the way, you’ll need to report the incident to your employer and start the claims process. Many states have strict time frames in which you must report such incidents, so make sure to do so as quickly as possible. One of the best steps you can take after addressing your medical needs is to connect with a qualified, reliable Orange County workers compensation attorney. Even if your case seems straightforward, filing for workers’ compensation entails adhering to strict deadlines and gathering necessary documentation. An attorney will help you navigate this process.

Additionally, some cases will require more than just a workers’ compensation claim. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain fair compensation for your losses. Food poisoning is an extremely unpleasant sickness, and the symptoms can vary widely in their severity. You may be able to secure reparation in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. While workers’ compensation will likely cover your immediate medical expenses and lost income from time spent out of work, you also may be able to file for damages, including pain and suffering, any necessary ongoing medical care, and lost income beyond what workers’ compensation benefits cover.

Request Free Consultation

  • *required fields