As the workforce has increasingly shifted to remote operations, a rising question is the validity of injuries sustained during work hours at home. Can injuries sustained while working remotely qualify for workers’ compensation? In short, the answer is yes. Whether one is operating from the confines of their home or a traditional office, the primary determinant for eligibility remains the context of the injury.
Determining the Scope of Employment
When discussing remote work injuries, a critical factor is whether the injury occurred within the scope of employment. If an injury emerges as a result of tasks performed for work purposes or during work hours, then it potentially falls under the umbrella of compensable claims, regardless of the location. This perspective holds true for both office-goers and those working from home.
However, the onus of proof varies. Establishing that an injury is work-related when working remotely can be a tad more challenging than in an office setting. For instance, distinguishing between an injury sustained while taking a personal break and one that occurred during a work-related task can be tricky.
Challenges and Cases of Remote Work Injuries
The complexities that come with proving a remote work injury claim can sometimes result in disputes. To highlight, consider a current case where a remote employee suffered a knee injury. The compensation department challenged the claim’s validity, deeming the injury non-work-related. Such cases, while individual in nature, underscore the gray areas of remote work injury claims.
The COVID-19 Effect on Remote Work Injury Claims
The global pandemic undeniably fast-tracked the adoption of remote work, leading to a surge in home-based professionals. With this shift, there was a corresponding rise in work-from-home injury claims. It’s crucial to recognize that while COVID-19 significantly amplified the number of such claims, they aren’t entirely novel. Even pre-pandemic, there were instances where employees, starting their workday from home, sustained injuries that were considered within the scope of their employment.
Determine Whether You Can File for Workers’ Compensation After Your Remote Work Injury
As the lines between work and home continue to blur, understanding the intricacies of remote work injury claims becomes increasingly vital. While challenges persist, it’s evident that injuries sustained in a home environment during work can and should be covered, provided they genuinely stem from work-related tasks or conditions. As we adapt to this new normal, so must our understanding and approach to workers’ compensation in the remote work era. Contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today to learn if you can file for workers’ compensation for a remote work injury.