Telecommuting Employees and Workers’ Compensation
Telecommuting is becoming an increasingly attractive option for both employers and employees and for that reason, it is also becoming increasingly more common. Employees appreciate the convenience and flexibility for being able to work from home or other locations of their choosing. Similarly, employers enjoy financial benefits such as the reduced cost that comes with being able maintain a formal workspace for a smaller number of people, and that’s if one is needed at all.
This is clearly becoming a favorable option, as according to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work remotely in 2015 and qualify as telecommuters.
So what happens when a telecommuter is injured in a workplace accident if the workplace is not actually at work?
Can Telecommuters Obtain Workers’ Compensation?
Possibly, as these kinds of claims are not specifically excluded by Florida’s workers’ compensation statute. Claims for workers’ compensation benefits always turn on the facts of the individual case, but there is heightened scrutiny when the employee filing the claim was injured while telecommuting from home. This makes sense as in a home office, there are no security cameras or disinterested coworkers who can attest to what happened. Instead, the account of the basis for this kind of claim originates largely from the testimony of the injured worker, who clearly has an interest in the outcome of the claim. However, this does not mean the worker automatically cannot obtain benefits. Instead, it means that the worker’s credibility will probably be weighed along with the facts of your claim. And of course, an injury incurred from tripping over a computer cable during scheduled work hours is much more likely to be granted workers’ compensation benefits than a severe burn incurred from coffee spilled during a lunch break.
What Are Some Factors That Can Affect This Type of Claim?
- Whether you have set work hours and were working within them at the time of the accident.
- Whether your company has a network that you log in and out of.
- Whether you were injured as the result of materials issued by your company, such as a computer or printer.
What Should Telecommuters Do in the Event of a Workplace Accident?
Obtain any needed medical care. If you need emergency care, dial 9-1-1 and wait for authorities to arrive.
Tell your employer. As soon as possible, reach out to your employer so that the incident where you were injured can be documented. Make sure that you ask for an injury report.
Visit a workers’ compensation attorney. Before signing anything, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you ensure that you communicate the facts leading to your claim in a way that allows you to maximize your entitlement to benefits.
Allow Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to Fight for You.
Despite your best efforts to avoid it, you can be injured in an accident while working and this can be frustrating on many levels. In addition to dealing with pain and suffering from your injuries, you are probably battling medical and household bills in the face of unexpectedly losing your income. The experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates will help ensure that you maximize your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.