More people are working from home these days, and many say they work just as hard from a kitchen table as they did from an office cubicle.
However, among the differences related to becoming a remote employee is the question of illness or injury. Do you have workers’ compensation coverage?
If, as a remote employee, you suffer an injury during regular working hours, workers’ compensation will likely cover you. The location makes no difference. As long as the injury occurs while you are completing a task for your employer, you should expect to receive worker’s comp benefits.
Injuries common to work-at-home employees include those that affect the upper or lower back, shoulders, wrists and hands. Some injuries occur because a chair does not provide sufficient support, or the employee is using a makeshift work surface such as the kitchen table. Laptop computers present the potential for injuries because the keyboard is too high or the monitor too low. As a result, neck or wrist pain may develop over time.
Personal comfort doctrine
Workers’ compensation coverage is also available under the personal comfort doctrine. This refers to an injury that occurs during an incidental activity during a typical workday. Examples are taking time to get a cup of coffee or using the restroom. Courts see these as “necessarily contemplated” activities for the sake of personal comfort during normal working conditions.
Assistance with your claim
If you sustain an injury as a remote employee, the burden of proof falls on you. In filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you must provide evidence that the injury was work-related. You may wish to seek legal guidance to ensure that the claim you submit has the best chance of success.