SAIF v. Tono

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 09-17-2014
  • Case #: A153393
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Wollheim, J.

Under ORS 656.039(5), workers’ compensation for state-funded home care workers is not limited to state-funded activities.

SAIF Corporation appeals Workers’ Compensation Board’s (WCB) compensation approval. Tono is a home care worker employed by her client/employer and paid by the Department of Human Services (DHS). Tono performs services based on a “Service Plan,” generated by a DHS Case Manager, and a “Task List,” generated by the client/employer. Tono granted her client/employer’s request to go out for breakfast and was involved in a car accident. Going to breakfast was not a service listed in the Service Plan or Task List. SAIF denied compensation to Tono because the injury did not occur within the scope of her employment. An Administrative Law Judge affirmed SAIF’s decision because the injury did not occur during a Task List activity. The WCB reversed the decision and found that the injury occurred within the scope of the Tono's employment because it occurred: during her employment hours, while performing a service for her client/employer, and at the direction of her client/employer. SAIF appealed the decision claiming that the WCB erroneously interpreted ORS 656.039(5) and that workers’ compensation coverage is limited to state-funded activities. The Court ruled that ORS 656.039(5) does not limit compensation to state-funded activities. Affirmed.

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