Australian Judge Defends Worker’s Right to Business-Trip Sex

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Photo: Zak Kendal/Corbis

An Australian judge ruled that workers who are injured while having sex on the job — if not on the clock — should be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. In 2007, a thirtysomething female government employee filed for worker’s comp after she and a "male friend" tore a glass light fitting from its mount above the bed while having sex in her motel room. The glass landed on her face, injuring her mouth and nose and causing depression that prevented her from working. Her claim for physical and psychological injuries was originally approved and later rejected by an administrative tribunal ruling that the government had not "induced or encouraged" the woman's sexual conduct, which was "not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay" such as "showering, sleeping and eating." (Which raises the question, what about masturbation-related injuries?) Last week, the Full Bench of the Federal Court overturned that ruling, saying, yes, sex is an ordinary incident of an overnight stay. "If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room, she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced her to engage in such activity," wrote refreshingly sex-positive Judge John Nicholas. Sales conference 2013: Sydney?