In today’s world of technology and the internet, more and more, people are able to work from locations outside of their employer’s building or office. An article recently stating that 37% of Americans in the work force can now work from home, either occasionally or regularly! Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?!
Obviously, this has its perks for employees, less travel time and less money spent in gas or public transportation. This can also benefit employers in several ways (like being able to have more employees without the additional costs of space and energy). The dilemma, however, when someone is injured while working from home, is whether they can file for workers’ compensation benefits.
If a person is injured while doing their job duties from the comfort of their own home, whose responsibility is it?
For example, what if you work from home and are injured lifting a box of copy paper that you use to do your job? What if you slip and fall on your way to the bathroom but you are “on the clock?” What if you trip over the computer cord (a computer you must use for work) and fall and get injured?
Recent reports show that, in some instances, certain claims have been ruled compensable. Because states define workers’ compensation claims as ones that “must arise out of and occur within the course of employment,” the place, time, and condition of the accident or injury can all be used to prove “the course of employment” was at home or in any other area where the person was working. There is no one size fits all answer. Each situation is different depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury and the responsibilities you may have while working from home. This can be a complex question and you should seek the opinion of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer for your unique set of circumstances.
Michele Lewane, Esq.
The Injured Workers Law Firm is focused on serving clients with workers’ compensation claims throughout Virginia.For answers to your questions about benefits download our book, The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia or call our office today (804) 755-7755. The Injured Workers’ Law Firm, serving Fredericksburg, Virginia Beach, Manassas, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Hampton Roads and all of Virginia.