Working from home is a situation that has become quite common in the last year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers were sent home to work remotely. Some of them have already returned to their workplaces. However, there are still many others who today continue to perform their duties from home.
This situation does not imply, however, that we are exempt from accidents for different reasons. What happens if a worker is injured working from home? Does workers’ compensation insurance still cover them?
Yes. In general terms, the illness or injury that a worker may have continues to be covered by workers’ compensation as long as it is derived from their work activities and occurs within the regular work hours. The challenge in these situations is to be able to demonstrate both, reporting on how it happened and at what time, and that the injury occurred as a result of performing their job duties. To successfully obtain workers’ compensation, you will have to prove the above.
However, due to the current situation, the courts have been more flexible. They are considering that if employees are working from home, then the dangers to which they may be exposed there will also be considered as dangers of their workplace.
This starts from assuming that it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and risk-free work environment. With the new way of working, some employers may choose to be more structured in terms of work hours, including breaks and meals. Some may even make regular visits to their employees’ homes to help identify and eliminate potential job hazards.
Laws regarding workers’ compensation vary from state to state. If you have any questions, give us a call today!