This year has seen a seismic shift in the number of workers who are telecommuting. Whether this becomes a permanent change, most employees will likely have the option of working from home at least part-time.
This raises the question of whether workers’ compensation covers remote employees. In general, the answer is “yes,” as long as the injury occurred while performing a work-related duty.
Were you injured in the course of employment?
Just because you suffered an injury at home during your regular working hours does not mean you will automatically receive workers’ compensation benefits. The injury must be tied to your employment in some way.
For example, if you are going into a room to take a work-related call and trip on an area rug, workers’ compensation will likely cover your injury. If you decide to step away from your desk for a few minutes to take a shower and slip in the tub, you will probably not be eligible for workers’ comp.
It’s up to you to show that the injury was related to your job in some way. This can be a challenge. An accident that occurs in a workplace will often have at least one witness. When you’re working from home, the only potential witnesses might be your dog, cat, another member of your household, or you may have no witnesses at all.
When a workers’ comp claim comes down to your word and your word alone, details are crucial. A skilled legal professional can help explore your options and determine whether you have a strong claim for workers’ compensation benefits.