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Does ‘the coming and going rule’ apply to public safety workers?

A very famous exception to workers’ compensation is the coming and going rule. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation provides a no-fault means of employers taking care of employees who suffer injury at the work site.

In the majority of cases, however, commuting to and from work is not covered by workers’ compensation. However, persons who are in vehicles for work, such as police officers and firefighters, might wonder if workers’ compensation does not cover them when they are in public safety vehicles. According to FindLaw, if travel is a part of your major job duty, it is excluded from the coming and going rule.

How does this apply to public servants?

Generally speaking, EMTs must be in an ambulance as part of their major job duties. Police officers must also spend a considerable amount of time in their vehicles as well. Firefighting also requires the frequent use of vehicles. In the event that any of these individuals suffer an injury while in their assigned vehicle, workers’ compensation applies.

However, in the event that you are commuting to your job in your personal car, the coming and going rule applies.A police officer who suffers a debilitating accident while on his rounds in his police vehicle would get workers’ compensation. However, a police officer commuting to work in his personal vehicle would not.

Who else does this apply to?

The exception does not only apply to public servants. Bus drivers and other individuals working in public transportation also qualify as part of the exemption.  Essentially, if your job mandates traveling in a company or public service vehicle, you are an exception to the coming and going rule.