Appellant: Zhen Guo
Respondent: Beijing Chaoyang District Human Resources and Social Security Bureau
Respondent: Beijing Network Job Consulting Co., Ltd.
Court: Bejing third intermediate District People’s Court
Case No.: (2014) San Zhong Hang Zhong Zi No. 276
Key Points of the Judgment:
When employees apply for evaluation of work-related injury, the Bureau should consider factors such as employee’s working hours, workplace, and work reasons. If employees voluntarily participate in activities organized by his/her department, using their leisure time and thus get injured, it shall not be identified as work-related injuries.
Zhen Guo is an employee of Beijing Network Job Consulting Co., Ltd., on August 12th 2012, Zhen Guo participated in activities that sales department colleagues voluntarily organized in Fengning, Heibei province. Zhen Guo accidentally fell when riding horse at her own expense.
On March 14th, 2013, Zhen Guo applied for work-related injury identification with Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Chaoyang District. On May 3rd, the Bureau issued the "non-work-related decision”. Zhen Guo refused to accept that decision, and requested for administrative reconsideration with Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. The Beijing Bureau upheld the concerned specific administrative act.
Zhen Guo refused to accept identification of "non-work-related injuries decision”. She brought the case to Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court. On November 27th, 2013, the Trial Court decided to dismiss Zhen Guo’s claim. Guo Zhen was not satisfied with the verdict, and appealed to the Beijing Third Intermediate People's Court.
Beijing No.3 Intermediate People's Court ruled in the second trial that appeal claims were dismissed and first trial’s verdict was upheld.
Zhen Guo participated in activities that were organized by departments, colleagues voluntarily participated, and employees used their free time for the tourism and leisure activities. Zhen Guo’s injury was due to horse riding at her own expense, not during work time or participating in work-related activities. That injury does not meet the standard of work-related injuries or a work injury situation that the Employment Insurance Regulations requires.
Source of the case: Judgment Document Website
KWM Comment: For employee benefits or for team building, the employer may organize group activities. To determine whether employees’ injuries should be identified as work-related injuries, the Bureau should consider the activity’s time, place and the relationship between activity and work. This case’s judgment in determining the scope of related injuries explicitly excluded the circumstance where the injury occurred in an activity organized by department, and the participation is at their own wiling and expense. The ruling is worthy of attention by employers.