My company has a mandatory conference week twice a year. I got food poisoning two days into the event, from food served at a company function and contracted Hepatitis A. I was our sick for five days, and had to use my PTO. Can I get that time back since this was a company event? I live in CA but the company is headquartered in OR.

Posted  09-09-2013

Steve Duggan replies:

I’m sorry to hear that you got sick and hopefully you have fully recovered. When someone is injured or falls ill at a mandatory employer event due to something associated with that event, such as the food provided, then the illness and/or injury are work-related in my opinion Therefore, you should not have had to use personal time and this should have been reported to your employer’s workers compensation carrier under California law, if you work in California. The fact that the company is headquartered in Oregon does not matter. I recommend you contact your supervisor to get a Workers Compensation claim form and fill it out now. Also, you should discuss the matter with HR, who may be able to help resolve it more promptly. Finally, if that doesn’t resolve the issue, you should consult with a workers compensation attorney in your area. Good luck, and good health!

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