Some light sex
Either of my readers (hi, Mum) might remember that back in July last year I blogged on the story of an unnamed government employee here who was suing for compensation after misunderstanding what was normally meant by enjoying a little light sex.
The woman’s claim is based on the fact that she suffered the injuries “during the course of her employment”, because she was required to travel to the country town and to stay overnight to attend a budget review meeting early the next day.
Her barrister, Leo Grey, argued in the Federal Court today that she was “induced or encouraged” by her employer to spend the night at the hotel where the incident occurred, and was thus entitled to compensation under workers’ compensation laws.
Well, if they induced or encouraged to spend the night at a hotel infamous for its falling light fittings I could see her point, but I’m pretty sure that it was just ‘You’re needed in this town for this purpose, and since it’s a long way away you’ll need to stay overnight.’ I’m even more sure that her employer would not have induced or encouraged her to have sex so hard the lights fell down since that’s generally not an occupational requirement in most work roles outside brothels.
The woman is appealing against a decision by Comcare, the federal government workplace safety body, upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which found that sex was not an “ordinary activity” during an overnight stay.
But Mr Grey said the fact that his client was having sex had little to do with the case.
“This case … is as much about slipping in the shower, or being beaten by a gang of thugs or being shot by a jealous rival,” he said.
And how would any of that have been the fault of her employer? Surely it would have been the fault of the gang or the rival or, for falling in the shower, the fault of Shit for making good on it’s threat and Happening. As it was she fancied a nice shag and a light fell on her, and I couldn’t work out why she was taking her department to court instead of the hotel whose light fell on her.
While she was there she had sex with a male acquaintance in a motel room paid for by her employer. While they were having sex one of them grabbed a glass light from the ceiling which fell and smashed into the woman’s face.
So there you have it. She was being paid to stay away from home for work purposes, but although she wasn’t being paid to have sex and she certainly wasn’t being paid to have the kind of sex that involves grabbing light fittings she felt that a sex related injury should be covered by Worker’s Comp, and having been knocked back she appealed in the Federal Court. Fifteen or twenty years or so ago we might have all felt pretty sure which way this was going to go, but these days… Over at the old place AllSeeingEye made this comment:
[…] Accept one liability and you accept the whole range. The fact is that her claim must fail, but bits of us all expect it’ll pass.
You can see where this is going, can’t you? Yep, she won.
A public servant injured on a work trip while having sex with a male friend at a motel is entitled to compensation, a court has found.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was denied a Workers’ Compensation claim for facial and psychological injuries suffered when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above her bed as she was having sex in November 2007.
She took ComCare, the federal government workplace safety body, to the Federal Court over its decision to reject her claim.
Today, Justice John Nicholas, ruled in her favour, saying the injuries were suffered in the course of her employment.
“If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced or encouraged her to engage in such an activity,” he said.
“In the absence of any misconduct or an intentionally self inflicted injury, the fact that the applicant was engaged in sexual activity rather than some other lawful recreational activity while in her motel room does not lead to any different result.”
Sounds to me like this does indeed, as the Eye said, mean liability for just about anything up to and including claims by any number of people staying in hotels and motels with porn channels for various forms of, ah, solo-induced repetitive strain injury. Seriously, why not? Every bishop bashed, every Kit-Kat shuffled, every chicken choked, every monkey spanked, every pink canoe paddled could lead to a claim, especially if they’re all going to remain anonymous. The learned judge specifically said that an injury sustained during a game of cards would entitle someone to compensation so I can only assume that that would still be the case if they were playing solitaire.