People who are injured while they are working from home for their employers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Courts in several states have held that at-home workers who are statutory employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when they are injured while performing the tasks of their jobs, despite the fact that they are at home when the injuries happen.
Technological advances have led to the ability for people to complete their job duties while they are away from the office. Some spend several days a month working from home, while others complete their jobs almost entirely from home. A workers’ compensation attorney may help injured remote workers to secure the benefits that they should rightfully recover.
(Article continues below Infographic)
The Changing Employment Landscape
The employment landscape has changed, allowing more people to work remotely. Companies are allowing greater flexibility in order to improve productivity, decrease costs and reduce absenteeism. In 2011, a survey by World at Work found that around 20 percent of the workforce in the U.S. either works from home or from another remote location. The researchers found that 26.2 million workers performed at least a portion of their jobs remotely.
While there are many benefits to working from home for both workers and their employers, some employees are injured while they are working remotely and may not be aware that they may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries. Several cases have established that remote workers may be eligible for benefits.
Decisions Involving Remote Workers
Workers who have been injured while completing their job tasks at home have prevailed in their workers’ compensation claims in several states. In one case in Oregon, a woman who was employed by J.C. Penney as a salesperson of window treatments was allowed to recover workers’ compensation benefits while she was working at home. The woman was reportedly carrying fabric samples into her home when she tripped over her dog, fell and broke her wrist. In New Jersey, the family of a remote AT&T worker was allowed to recover survivors’ benefits. The woman died after suffering from a blood clot that was caused by her sitting in front of her computer for hours each day while she was performing the duties of her job. A workers’ compensation attorney may litigate for injured remote workers to help them recover benefits when they are injured while working remotely.