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A worker's injury that results from an assault is not compensable unless the assault arises out of his employment. The employment connection is satisfied if it is shown that the type of work or the setting in which it is performed increased the worker's risk of assault. For example, occupations that may carry a higher risk of assault due to their very nature are police officer, prison guard, and security guard, to name a few. Further, employees who work in a dangerous area of a city or who work at night may also be at an increased risk for assault.


Horseplay is not altogether uncommon in the workplace and basically consists of boisterous and playful roughhousing. When an injury arises in the workplace as a result of horseplay, the question of compensability comes into play. It is a relatively uniform principle throughout the states that if the injured party was not a participant in the horseplay, but only injured by the horseplay, compensation will not be denied. However, only some states will permit the recovery of workers' compensation benefits if the injured party instigated the horseplay or participated therein. Many jurisdictions outright deny compensation to instigating employees based on the principle of the employee as the "aggressor."

Asbestosis and Construction Workers

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that was used quite extensively in the insulation of buildings and for fireproofing. Asbestosis is a form of lung disease that results in scarring of the lung tissue by the inhalation of asbestos, which is made up of microscopic glass-like particles. Those individuals suffering from the disease are at an increased risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Nonprofit and Charitable Employers

Nonprofit and charitable employers are not treated the same in every state for purposes of workers' compensation. Some states expressly exclude them from the operation of the workers' compensation statute while others expressly include them or neglect to address them at all. Despite this, the majority of jurisdictions hold that nonprofit and charitable employers are, in fact, subject to the workers' compensation system. Such employers may include churches and synagogues, educational institutions, charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army that are designed to aid the community, and the like.

Work Incentives for Supplemental Security Income Beneficiaries

The Social Security Administration's work incentives program was instituted to help disabled individuals take advantage of employment opportunities and thereby gain a measure of independence. Special rules were designed to reduce the risk that a disabled or blind Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary who chose to work would lose their SSI or Medicaid benefits.