If I ask such a question, I should answer it myself, I suppose. I’m sure I must have at some point but right now I don’t remember any specific instances (so clearly any indiscretions were not that memorable!). I do recall several of us being asked to leave a spa pool at about 3 am one morning at a conference. We were being too noisy. Too many shots at the bar earlier in the night, I suspect.
Today I noticed the case by a female government employee for compensation for physical and psychological injuries incurred when a light fitting fell on her head during sex after being “pulled from its mounting” was finalised in the High Court. It is worth noting the claimant did require hospital treatment.
The court was split on the decision, with five judges agreeing and two in dissent. Justices Bell and Gageler would have allowed the compensation claim.
“For an injury to be in the course of employment, the employee must be doing the very thing that the employer encouraged the employee to do, when the injury occurs,” the joint majority wrote.
While not a lawyer, I can see this could have set quite an amazing precedent had the claimant won the case. As I am not a lawyer, I am sure there are many legal technicalities involved in this case I have no idea about, but as one of those legal “reasonable people”, I am reasonably sure I agree with the High Court. Or am I reasonably sure? Hmmmmm. I had to dig a little deeper.
I note the judges did say had the light fitting been poorly mounted and just fell of its own accord, there may well have been a claim against the motel. I agree. One does not expect to have light fittings fall on one’s head in any accommodation, whether it be private or work related travel!
The case certainly seems to have received global media coverage as demonstrated by the US Government news portal, perhaps indicating a little sex on the side is not uncommon. What happens on tour and all that.
I’m sure I am not the only one reading the media coverage who wonders exactly how the light fitting came to be pulled from its mounting. Not all articles mention it was pulled and so of course, the media being the media, I can’t be sure if that is factual or not. However, I do think it is important, especially if we look at the dissenting opinion as reported.
‘‘In the absence of any suggestion that she was engaged at the time of injury in misconduct, those facts were sufficient to conclude that the injury the respondent sustained during that interval, and when at that place, was sustained in the course of her employment,’’ Gageler said.
‘‘The particular activity in which the respondent was engaged at the time she was injured does not enter into the analysis,’’ he added.
It seems had the employee been injured playing cards, for example, she would have been entitled to compensation. If that is indeed the case, I have to ask why sex is somehow different to playing cards in this context (I do know how it is different anatomically, thank you).
I’m taking a different approach altogether. Safety. Most employers strive to provide a safe working environment. I am sure the Commonwealth is no exception. If an employee does something that puts their own safety at risk, is there contributory negligence (or some similar legal phrase)? After all, this light fitting didn’t pull itself from its mounting, assuming the report is correct and it was pulled. Either someone was holding on to it or otherwise “attached” to it. Seems we are not talking missionary position in this case.
While I expect an employer to provide safe accommodation (i.e. I don’t expect a light fitting to fall unprovoked), I don’t think I expect my employer to take into consideration the possible vigor of any extracurricular activities I might undertake when booking accommodation for me. A clean, comfortable bed and hot water are the basic necessities.
Does kind of make me wonder about possible injury claims for the Brothel Sex Inspector.
I’m curious. What do you think? Have you ever injured yourself in such a manner in your young and foolish days?
- Woman denied compensation for injury during sex in motel during business trip (standard.co.uk)
- Australian loses compensation case for sex injury (kansascity.com)
- Australian loses compensation case for sex injury (miamiherald.com)