Can Telecommuters Receive Workers’ Comp?
In a world in which technology is rapidly increasing the ability for employees to work from their homes or from another remote location, the normal rules of employment can become gray areas. Once such area that many people need clarification on is in regards to the workers’ compensation program, a system designed to grant financial compensation to pay for medical expenses related to an injury sustained while someone is at work. It may seem obvious that people who are in an office or business facility and are injured should receive workers’ comp, but are telecommuters, employees who work from home, eligible as well?
By definition, the workers’ comp program is meant to support all injured employees, so it does indeed apply to those that are working from home as well. That being said, there is a certain stipulation that is in place to ensure that the system isn’t abused. The employee that is working remotely must be able to prove that he or she was performing a work-related, and work beneficial, task when the injury was inflicted. If the employee was working from home and took a break to do a home chore, for example, an injury inflicted at this time would not qualify the employee for workers’ comp.
Due to this requirement, it is always recommended that telecommuters maintain a safe working environment, even if that environment is a home office. Even so, injuries may still occur and, if the employee was doing work-related activities, there is still the right to receive compensation for said injuries. If your employer tries to fight this, they are in violation of the law and you may pursue a workers’ compensation lawsuit against them. To learn about how we at the Franco Law Firm can guide you through this process, and to schedule a free consultation with us, please call us any time at (813) 872-0929.