Course of Employment Law and Legal Definition

Course of employment refers to a person actively involved in an employment task at a particular time, usually in issue when an accident occurs, which is required to make a claim for work-related injury under state Worker's Compensation Acts. Also, in order to hold an employer liable for the wrongful acts of an employee, it may be necessary to show that the employee was engaged in duties in the course of employment at the time of the wrongful conduct.

The test is whether the actions of an employee further the business of the employer and are not personal business, thereby making an employer is liable for damages due to such actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior. For example, if an employee is en route to deliver goosd to a customer and makes a detour to do a personal errand, any accident occuring while on the personal errand are not in the course of employment and the employer is not liable. It is also referred to as "scope of employment".