How do examples of an employee "acting within the scope of employment" differ from examples of "a frolic and detour"?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An employee acting within the scope of employment is simply doing his or her job and any activities associated with that job.  Time is allowed to an employee to eat, to travel, or to use bathroom facilities, but these are the only exceptions, really, to that scope of employment.  It is impossible to see how a "frolic and a detour" could ever reasonably be within the scope of employment, no matter what sort of job a person has.  Even at management levels, where one is salaried and expected to accomplish all job requirements without clocking in or out, given more latitude and autonomy to complete tasks, such behavior would still not be considered within the scope of employment.  It is not clear the context in which this question is being asked, but, for example, for the purposes of workers' compensation, someone injured on the job really does have to be on the job. 

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