California In-Home Caretaker Awarded Benefits for Injuries Sustained in Bicycle Accident

Observing that California’s “required vehicle” exception to the going and coming rule arises where the employee’s use of his or her own vehicle gives some incidental benefit to the employer, a state appellate court held that an in-home caretaker sustained injuries arising out of and in the course of her employment when she was struck and injured by a car as she rode her bicycle from one private home where she worked to another home where she was scheduled to work [Zhu v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. & Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 564 (June 20, 2017)].

Following a line of earlier decisions, the Court said the injured employee’s travel between assignments increased the employer’s ability to service persons in need. Given the length of time that the employee worked for the employer and that the employer knew that the employee traveled between the homes she was servicing, it was a reasonable inference that the employer at least impliedly required the employee to provide for her own transportation between homes so that she could service more than one home per day.

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