Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit If I Work Remotely?
The pandemic forced several businesses to shutter their offices and required employees to work from home. While employers were happy to still be earning any income, the employees were happier. Working from home is now a major request of the majority of employees. Meanwhile, employers who are now looking over expenses related to commercial real estate, workers’ compensation insurance, and other issues are seeing the zeroes resolve in their favor. Could remote work really be the future? Many believe so as it represents a win-win for both employees and employers.
But another issue comes into play. If you are on the clock while you’re at home, can you ever file a valid workers’ compensation claim? While the rules are more or less the same for remote employees than commuters, there aren’t a lot of situations where an at-home employee will find cause to file a workers’ compensation claim. Below, we’ll look at some of the issues.
The rules are the same
The workers’ compensation rules are the same for an at-home employee as they are for a commuter. Essentially, if you acquire an injury that is related to your job-related duties, your employer is required to offer medical care and some amount of your wages. But what situations are likely to result in workers’ compensation claims against employers for at-home work? There really aren’t that many.
Imagining a scenario in which an at-home employee qualifies for workers’ compensation is no easy feat of the imagination. In fact, most of the office work that avails itself to at-home employment doesn’t cost employers a great deal of money to insure. Their workers are not likely to suffer on-the-job injuries. However, repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel can be the result of employment work. Also, if you were to trip and fall you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Are these claims being denied?
Claims are denied all the time without a legal basis. That forces attorneys representing clients to prove their case. In terms of an at-home injury, the rules are the same. If you are injured while you’re on the clock, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Needless to say, the employee has the burden of proving that their injury occurred while they were at work. Since workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, the employee’s own negligence is not a consideration. You can, therefore, file a workers’ compensation claim for tripping over your own untidied mess while on company hours.
The rules that apply to this are the personal comfort rule and the going and coming rule. The going and coming rule means that employees on their way to work cannot file compensation claims for car accidents. However, if they are expected to deliver materials to a secondary site, they can because that is part of their job. If the worker works from home, there is no going and coming rule at all.
The personal comfort rule means that an employer cannot say that getting coffee or using the bathroom is outside the scope of your employment duties and thus does not qualify for workers’ compensation. So, even at home you don’t have to worry about getting coffee or using the bathroom. Injuries that occur during those activities are still compensable.
Talk to a Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Need to file a workers’ compensation claim? Call the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer Law today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the matter in more detail.