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Decision in Case: Pueblo County, CO and County Technical Services, Inc. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office

Today, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a decision in the case of Pueblo County, CO and County Technical Services, Inc. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office; W.C. No. 4-911-673 upholding a lower court's decision that an injury sustained while attending a union meeting is compensable under the Colorado Workers' Compensation Act.

The decision announces a significant change in CO law. Previously, injuries sustained while employees attended Union meetings were not compensable. Union activities were considered solely for the benefit of the Employee and as such not considered part of the work contract. Thus, injuries sustained in attending Union meetings were not covered under Colorado's Workers' Compensation laws.

However in the Pueblo County case, the Court of Appeals ruled that an employee's attendance at a Union meeting actually confers a "mutual benefit" to the Employer and Employee. Because of the benefit to the employer, attendance at Union meetings is now sufficient to render injuries sustained in furtherance of those meetings compensable under Colorado Workers' Compensation laws.

In practical application, the decision means that injuries employees sustain while pursuing their Union membership may now be covered by Workers' Compensation benefits. This includes injuries employees sustain in parking lots going to and from Union meetings, during the meetings themselves, and other injuries incidental to attending Union meetings.

Please contact Alverson + O'Brien for further information.

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