So many employees are working remotely these days, and you may be among those who take care of business from a home office.
But what happens if you suffer an injury? As a remote employee, do you qualify for benefits under workers’ compensation?
A remote work policy
As a remote employee, you may perform your duties under the guidelines your employer provides. Employers have a responsibility to establish the policies they expect their work-from-home staff members to follow. These might include guidelines for time reporting, compliance with management practices, designated work areas and use of equipment such as a computer and printer. The hope is that such policies will help to keep the remote worker from sustaining injuries.
Burden of proof
Perhaps your doctor has diagnosed your injury as a fractured wrist. In filing for workers’ compensation benefits, the burden of proof will be on you as a remote employee to provide evidence that your injury was work-related. Although your employer has no control over the work environment in your home, courts usually find that this is not grounds for denying workers’ compensation benefits.
Regardless of the location where you suffered your injury, you should be able to qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. You might sustain an injury at a company picnic or while traveling to a seminar on behalf of your employer. The wrist fracture could have happened in the office just as well as in your home. However, if the workers’ compensation carrier denies your claim, you have options. Your next step is mediation with the Division of Labor and Management. You could also request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Remain positive. With legal guidance, you can expect to receive the benefits you deserve.