Can You Receive Worker's Compensation When You Are Working Remotely?
The COVID-19 pandemic left many employees permanently working from home. Many companies started to cancel their building and office leases, and made their employees 100% work from home. However, this was a very difficult process for each company, as they tried to figure out what this meant for benefits and wages.
What is remote work?
Remote work allows an employee to work from any office, including working from their home office. This is a type of work arrangement that especially became popular during the worldwide pandemic. Some employers also offer the option of coming into the office a couple days a week, and working from home the rest of the week.
Could I be injured while working from home?
Workplace injuries can happen anywhere and anytime. Although injuries for remote workers may not be common, they still could happen, and could be a possibility for remote workers who may strain their back, fingers, or hands while working on the computer.
What is workers compensation?
Workers compensation allows employees to get compensated for any injuries that they have incurred while on the job. The requirement is that an employee must report their injuries to the employer as soon as possible. If an employee waits too long to report their injuries to the employer, the employer could use this as an excuse to refrain from paying out the employee. Workers compensation are financial benefits to employees while they take time off work because of their injuries.
In order to get compensation for injuries that occurred out of work, you must have to show that the injuries “rose out of and in the course of” employment. This means that the origin of the injuries must point back to employment.
Will I be able to get workers compensation for my remote work?
You will be able to get compensated for workers compensation if you have been injured while at work. This does not necessarily mean that you have to physically be at work, you could recover workers compensation even if you are a remote employee. But it may be a bit difficult to prove that your injuries were caused while on the job. That is why having highly qualified professionals on your side to prove causation will be one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your worker’s compensation case.
What do I have to prove to get workers compensation?
In order to get compensated for an injury that occurred during work, you must have to show the correlation between work and how the injury occurred. You must have to prove that the work caused the injury. An employer may usually fight back against a workers compensation request, and claim that the injury happened while the employee was not at work. That is why having as much information as possible regarding the causation will help you with your benefits.
When you are a remote employee, you must also show that the injuries you have suffered are in no way connected to your home environment. For example, if you have claimed back injuries from sitting on your seat all day on the computer, you must show how these back injuries are not related to any other physical movements you make around the house. This could be a very difficult step and hurdle to jump through in order to get compensation.
What are some examples of injuries that could occur while working remotely?
- Joint pain
- Trip and fall
- Slip and fall
- Pinched back nerve
- Disc pain
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Carpal tunnel
Above are just some examples of injuries that remote workers may suffer during work. These are referred to as cumulative injuries, that employees suffer from repetitive constant use. For example, constantly typing at a certain position with poor ergonomics may lead to damage of the muscles and tendons.
What are some steps I could take to prevent injury while working from home?
Make sure that you have a safe home office. For example, be on the lookout for:
- Any loose carpet or floor boards that could cause a trip and fall
- Any loose phone lines that could lead to a trip and fall
- Any open cabinet drawers that could lead to a trip and fall
- Smoke detectors that do not work or need battery replacements
- An office chair that does not provide adequate support for your back
- Dedicate a specific area in the home for your home office. This allows you to physically have a comfortable area where you could sit for hours, and also provides a mental break in the case that you need to walk away.
- If you feel as though you are uncomfortable working from home, let your employer know. Some employers now offer discounts and reimbursements for any ergonomic home equipment.
- Create a clear schedule and agreement with your employer to determine your work hours. One of the biggest struggles that many work-from-home employees had was determining when their work was done, especially since they had no physical break between work and home.
- Make sure you have proper lighting in your home office to prevent straining of the eyes
- Elevate your monitor to your eye level
- Use a headset while on calls to prevent you from holding up the phone the entire phone call.
- Take a break every 30 minutes and walk around
Make sure that you use a separate keyboard and the mouse if your employer has provided you with a laptop. Many companies are now offering their employees separate keyboards so employees could type in a neutral position, and will not have to constantly extend their wrists.
Call Us Today To Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation
Contact our attorneys today for more information regarding workers compensation, and injuries while on the job. Since remote work and telecommuting is a fairly new employment trend, there are still several questions involved with workers’ wages and benefits. Give our highly rated professional team a call today to schedule a case evaluation and to discuss the injuries you have incurred while on the job.
One of the most common misconceptions is that employees who work from home will not be able to claim any workers compensation benefits since they were not physically at the job site. This is not the case, and you have the right to get compensated for any injuries you have suffered. Give our Los Angeles attorneys a call today.
Each accident and injury is different from one another, that is why we advise that you speak to our legal experts today regarding your workplace injuries. The longer you wait, the less you may be able to recover in compensation. That is why we recommend that you speak to an accident attorney as soon as possible.The world of workers compensation could be very difficult to navigate through, that is why we are here, and able to help you every step of the way. Call us for any questions you may have with your potential workers compensation claim.
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