Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Employees Working From Home
In many states, employers are required to provide workers with workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance protects the employees in case of a workplace accident and compensates them for any medical expenses and lost wages.
However, there are certain exceptions as to who is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. For example, in most cases, freelancers and part-time workers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. But what about employees working from home?
Working from home has become increasingly popular with the rise of internet-based jobs. Many companies today offer their employees a choice of either working from the office or the comfort of their home, whether they’re employed full-time or part-time. But how does that affect workers’ compensation? In this article, we’ll answer that question.
How does the Law Treat These Cases?
Workers’ compensation covers employees injured in the line of work, regardless of the location. So if a worker is a delivery man and gets involved in a traffic accident, they are still covered even if they were not at the office. The same rule extends to working from home. You are entitled to workers’ compensation no matter if you’re in an office, store, construction site, factory and even your home.
However, the lines are very thin and delicate here. For example, if you fall down the stairs to answer a work-related call you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But if you decide to take a shower before heading off to a meeting, you won’t be entitled to the benefits of taking a shower is not a work-related obligation.
Another complicated issue here is proving your injury was caused by work. You have to prove that you were on duty when you got injured. Therefore, any hazards at home are considered work hazards. Therefore, workers are entitled to these benefits, even if the employer cannot control the safety at their employee’s home.
Freelancers are not Always Covered
As previously mentioned, one exception to workers’ compensation is freelancers. And since many people working from home tend to take on several jobs at a time, they are not covered by workers’ compensation unless they are considered a full-time employee.
Furthermore, in case a full-time employee takes up more jobs to make the most out of working from home, in case of an accident the employer is only required to compensate for the lost wages for that particular employment contract, and not any other contract the worker might have.
Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim
In case of a work-related injury at home, every case should be treated individually. The difficulty here is proving that you were performing a work-related task at the time of injury. This is made even more difficult if there are no witnesses. That is why the details regarding the employment and the accidents can make or break a case.
Some employers might even deny your claim in case of a work-related injury at home. Most of them might do it with no basis, other than claiming you weren’t performing a work-related task. If this happens to you, you should turn to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, as they can help you build your claim on relevant information.