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Bailiff for Baltimore City District Court Denied Workers’ Comp Because of “Going and Coming Rule”

According to, a part-time bailiff for the Baltimore City District Court was denied workers’ compensation, or workers’ comp, for a car accident that occurred during working hours. The man arrived to work one day in June of 2006 only to realize he was wearing a Christmas tie, which did not comply with the court’s dress code; specifically, bailiffs are required to wear a light or dark blue tie. Later that morning, after also spilling coffee on his shirt and tie, the man had gone home to change his clothes. On the way back to the courthouse, a truck collided head-on with his vehicle. The crash caused the worker to be hospitalized for a month due to the serious work-related injuries he endured.

The MD worker applied for workers’ compensation benefits because he was required to change his clothing for work, and he was driving back to his place of employment at the time of the accident. The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Committee initially granted the workers’ comp benefits to the injured worker, but the Circuit Court for Baltimore County later reversed the decision, largely because the man’s clothes-changing commute fell under Maryland’s “going and coming rule.” This rule excludes workers from receiving benefits if they are injured while leaving or returning to their workplace. In addition, the decision was also made because the bailiff did not receive permission from his supervisor to leave work.

This decision was unanimously upheld by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on February 9.

Though a Maryland worker who is injured on the job may know they have a valid workers’ compensation claim, receiving benefits is not always simple as the complex rules surrounding workers’ comp may leave a worker with no benefits at all. The skilled Waldorf workers’ compensation lawyers with Alpert Schreyer are committed to helping injured workers receive the compensation they need to get back on their feet after a work-related injury. For a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team, call (301) 812-4777.