CENTERS FOR YOUTH & FAMILIES; RISK MANAGEMENT RESOURCES; ATA WORKERS' COMP - SI TRUST, APPELLANTS
JOYCE A. WOOD AFFIRMED, APPELLEE
APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. NO. G401743.
Gil Ragon Owen, P.A., by: Jason A. Lee, for appellants.
Gary Davis, for appellee.
BART F. VIRDEN, Judge. GLADWIN, C.J., and HIXSON, J., agree.
BART F. VIRDEN, Judge.
The Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission) determined that appellee Joyce A. Wood sustained a compensable injury arising out of and in the course of her employment. Appellants, Centers for Youth & Families, Risk Management Resources, and ATA Workers' Comp - SI Trust (collectively, CFYF), argue that the Commission erred in determining that Wood was performing employment services at the time of her injury. We affirm.
I. Facts and Procedural History
Wood testified that she had worked for Centers for Youth & Families as a part-time receptionist for approximately three
years. According to Wood, the atmosphere at her job was " very laid back." She greeted members and answered the telephone, but she did not always stay at the front desk. She would occasionally check on things in the kitchen or step away to speak with members. Also, because she worked only part time, she had no scheduled breaks. Wood testified that she took breaks as needed and " as traffic allow[ed]." On January 14, 2014, Wood had clocked in at 8:00 a.m. From approximately 8:30 to 8:45 a.m., when there was a lull in the activity around the front desk, Wood walked to the vending machine to get a snack because she had not eaten breakfast. On her way to the vending machine, Wood slipped on water in the hallway and fell, fracturing her pelvis. According to Wood, typically, after going to the vending machine, she would immediately return to her desk where she could both eat her snack and perform her job duties.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) noted that Wood was " an extremely credible witness." In finding her injury compensable, the ALJ found that Wood did not have scheduled breaks; that she was permitted to leave the front desk temporarily when business was slow to go to the vending machine; and that she would then immediately return to her desk to eat her snack. The ALJ concluded that Wood's actions in only briefly leaving her desk benefited her employer, directly or indirectly. The Commission affirmed and adopted the ALJ's opinion.
II. Standard of Review
Under Arkansas law, the Commission is permitted to adopt the ALJ's opinion. Target Corp. v. Bumgarner, 2015 Ark.App. 112, 455 S.W.3d 378. In doing so, the Commission makes the ALJ's findings and conclusions the findings and conclusions of the Commission. Id. Therefore, for purposes of our review, ...