Now, if this were me, I don’t think I could bear to bring the dispute to court… However, there is presently a case before the Federal Court in which a woman is suing for worker’s compensation after she was injured during vigorous sex with a man she’d met while on a workplace trip. She was staying in a hotel for the purposes of attending a meeting, and had a liaison with the man in her hotel room the night before the meeting. The man was not in any way connected with her work. The woman was injured after a light fitting came off the hotel wall while she was having sex, and the light fitting hit her in the nose, mouth and a tooth (owch!). She also says that she has developed a consequent psychiatric injury, namely an adjustment disorder.
Her barrister made the point that if she’d simply slipped in the hotel shower, she could have argued that the workplace should compensate her for her injuries, as she wouldn’t have been in a position to injure herself if they had not sent her to the motel for the purposes of the meeting. But does this principle extend to sexual intercourse? The Australian reports:
Mr Grey [counsel for the plaintiff] said “the lawful sexual activity” was considered reasonable behaviour for a motel room as “it’s not the 1920s.”
But Andrew Berger, counsel for Comcare, submitted that having sex was not a “necessary activity” for a motel room, in the same way that “showering, bathing or sleeping” is.
The government’s workplace safety body ComCare rejected her compensation claim, upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, finding the sexual activity “was not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping or eating”.
In submissions filed to the court, the woman’s lawyers have argued that being injured while having sex “during an interval or interlude within an overall period or episode of work” was no different to being hurt doing other recreational activities.
“Serious drinking and socialising may be regarded as a recreational activity, yet injuries resulting from those activities … have been found to be compensable,” her lawyers argue.
Gives a whole new nuance to the expression ‘a frolic of one’s own’. I wonder what the judge will decide?