California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

3726. Social or Recreational Activities

Social or recreational activities that occur after work hours are within the scope of employment if:

(a) They are carried out with the employer's stated or implied permission; and

(b) They either provide a benefit to the employer or have become customary.

Sources and Authority

This aspect of the scope-of-employment analysis was expressly adopted for use in respondeat superior cases in Rodgers v. Kemper Construction Co. (1975) 50 Cal.App.3d 608, 620 [124 Cal.Rptr. 143], and reiterated in Childers v. Shasta Livestock Auction Yard, Inc. (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 792, 804 [235 Cal.Rptr. 641]. It is derived from the workers' compensation case of McCarty v. Workmen's Compensation Appeals Bd. (1974) 12 Cal.3d 677, 681-683 [117 Cal.Rptr. 65, 527 P.2d 617].)

"[W]here social or recreational pursuits on the employer's premises after hours are endorsed by the express or implied permission of the employer and are 'conceivably' of some benefit to the employer or, even in the absence of proof of benefit, if such activities have become 'a customary incident of the employment relationship,' an employee engaged in such pursuits after hours is still acting within the scope of his employment." (Rodgers, supra, 50 Cal.App.3d at 620.)

McCarty has been overruled by statute in the context of workers' compensation (see Lab. Code, § 3600(a)(9)). However, courts have acknowledged that "it has been adopted as a test in establishing liability under respondeat superior." (West American Insurance Co. v. California Mutual Insurance Co. (1987) 195 Cal.App.3d 314, 322 [240 Cal.Rptr. 540].)

Secondary Sources

2 Witkin, Summary of California Law (9th ed. 1987) Agency and Employment, §§ 130, 135

1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 8, Vicarious Liability, § 8.03[3][c] (Matthew Bender)

2 California Employment Law, Ch. 30, Employers' Tort Liability to Third Parties for Conduct of Employees, § 30.05 (Matthew Bender)

21 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 248, Employer's Liability for Employee's Torts, § 248.16 (Matthew Bender)

37 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 427, Principal and Agent (Matthew Bender)

10 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 100, Employer and Employee (Matthew Bender)

(New September 2003)