Special-Errand Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Special errand doctrine is a legal principle which allows an employee to receive compensation under workers' compensation law for injuries occurring while the employee is on a journey or special duty for the employer away from the workplace. This is an exception to the general rule that an employee is not covered for injuries occurring away from work.

"If the employee is not simply on his way from his home to his normal place of work or returning from said place to his home for his own purpose, but is coming from his home or returning to it on a special errand either as part of his regular duties or at a specific order or request of his employer, the co-employee is considered to be in the scope of his employment from the time that he starts on the errand until he has returned or until he deviates therefrom for personal reasons." [Short v. United States, 245 F. Supp. 591, 593 (D. Del. 1965)]