An Australian court has ruled that a government employee who was injured while having sex on a work trip is eligible for compensation.
In a Dec. 13 decision, the Federal Court ruled that the initial judgment in the woman's favour was correct, and dismissed the appeal by Comcare, the workers' compensation insurer for the government.
In November 2007, the woman had to travel for work to a town in New South Wales. She stayed at a motel booked by the government agency she worked for and met a male friend for dinner one night. After dinner, they went to her motel room and had sex. While they were having sex, a glass light fixture above the bed fell on the woman, and injured her nose and mouth. She also suffered a psychological injury, the judgment says.
After being injured, the woman applied for workers' compensation, a request that Comcare initially approved. But after investigating the claim further, Comcare revoked their acceptance of her claim on Jan. 21, 2010.
In its decision last week, the Federal Court found that "no approval, express or implied, of the respondent's conduct was required ... the views of the employer were irrelevant."
"We think the primary judge was correct to make a declaration that the respondent was entitled to compensation," the ruling concludes.
Comcare said Friday that it filed the appeal to get clarity "on the boundaries between private and business activities when employees are travelling for work purposes."
Comcare said it is reviewing the decision and will consider its options.