Due to the digital age, more and more employees are working from home. This raises the question: Is an employee covered if they suffer a work-related injury or illness at home?
If you're a temporary or permanent telecommuter, this article can help you figure out whether you are covered by workers compensation insurance.
Are Telecommuters Covered By Workers Compensation Insurance?
The injury or illness of an employee is covered by workers compensation insurance as long as the incident occurs due to and during the course of employment. This is true no matter where the illness or injury occurs. However, employees often have to be able to prove that the injury or illness in question is work-related. Employees need to be able to show that their actions were in the interest of the employer when the incident occurred. However, in many cases, the employee will be the only witness to an accident that occurs at home.
Employers often attempt to use the argument that they don't have any control over the working conditions in an employee's home. However, this argument typically does not hold up in court. Employers are still responsible for providing their employees who telecommute with a safe work environment — just as they are responsible for providing a safe work environment for employees who work in the corporate office.
In most states, it is acknowledged that it is normal for employees to make small detours. In a corporate office, employees will often leave their desk to go to the restroom or to get a snack or some coffee. This is also true for employees who are working from home part-time or full-time. It is considered a normal detour for an employee to go to the fridge to make themselves a snack. If an employee suffers an injury on their way to the restroom during normal working hours, they may be entitled to compensation. However, if an employee leaves their home to run non-work-related errands and gets into a car accident, the employee will generally not be entitled to compensation.
If you work from home part-time or full-time, you may be wondering if you are covered by workers compensation insurance. In general, the answer to this question is yes, as long as the accident occurs while you're on the job. For more information about whether you are covered by workers compensation insurance when telecommuting, don't hesitate to contact us.