Hastings Law Journal


Henry Slowik


Discerning a comprehensive rationale for the exceptions to California's "going and coming" rule has been difficult due to the ad hoc judicial creation of these exceptions. The going and coming rule denies workers' compensation benefits to employees injured while traveling to and from work. Courts reason that the employment relationship is suspended during the employee's commute and, therefore, that workers' compensation is not available. On a case by case basis, California's courts have created exceptions to this rule and allowed compensation in certain suits for injuries occurring during an employee's commute. Failure to provide a single rationale for the exceptions has resulted in inconsistent application of the rule. This Note proposes a model which sets forth a comprehensive rationale for the exceptions to the going and coming rule. After contrasting the proposed model to the rule and its present exceptions, the Note concludes that the proposed model allows for a more predictable and consistent application of the going and coming rule.

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