Working From Home + Workers Compensation
With a ridiculous amount of businesses shutting down their offices this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has become the reality for many. We get it, working in your pajamas all day with no commute to work sounds amazing right? Trust us, it is, but it’s also important to understand what can happen if you are injured on the job while working remotely.
Picture this. You’re snuggled up on the couch with your favorite blanket wrapped around your legs, your favorite movie is on, and your laptop securely sitting on your lap. After a moment of watching the movie, you start filling out a spreadsheet you told your boss you would get to them by the end of the day. After a few minutes of working you realize you’re a bit hungry and get up to snag a leftover burger, you had gotten delivered the previous evening. You get up, walk over to the kitchen, and BAM, you slip and fall right on your back fracturing a vertebra. Ouch, and… yikes. Now, think. Was this just a clumsy mistake, or can you file a worker’s compensation claim since you were technically on the clock and working? Great question.
Luckily for you, there is a big chance that you will be covered under worker’s compensation. Within the last few years, many states have seen cases that ruled in the employee’s favor. While these cases were related to claims where a team member took a small break from work to get food, coffee, or even to go to the bathroom, work from home situations can certainly qualify.
If your employer has asked you to work from home and has authorized you to use your “home office,” then it is important to understand that your employer may be liable for any injury that happens while performing your job duties. That said, if you happen to fall down the stairs as you’re playing hide and seek with your kiddos, that doesn’t count. Just like performing tasks at work, a claim has to be related to performing a task for your employer while at your approved home office.
Even though Florida’s Personal-Comfort Doctrine focuses on injuries that happen inside of the office, it has helped employees win their work-from-the home case. As long as your injury was a personal convenience task, approved by your employer, and you have the proper documentation, then you have a case.
Franco Law Firm is an expert in Florida workers’ compensation law and has experience with both in-office and approved home office cases. Manuel Franco of Franco Law Firm has been serving the Tampa Bay area for many years and is skilled in winning back your right to compensation for workplace injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured while at work or from their approved home office, please call us at (813) 872-0929 and schedule a free consultation. We’ll work hard to get you back to work and feeling great.