In our changing economy, a large part of the workforce is now working remotely in the comfort of their own home. When an injury occurs at a worker’s residence, it can be a compensable claim depending on the situation.
Was the Injury Work-Related?
First, where an employee has been given express authority from the employer to work from home, any injury sustained at home while performing work for the company is a compensable workers’ compensation claim. This means the injury has to arise from performing work for the employer. Whereas an injury that occurs while performing regular household chores or activity outside of work would not normally be a compensable claim.
In the event that an employer has not expressly told the employee to work from home, the nature of the business and the work performed will ultimately determine whether a valid workers’ compensation claim exists.
Take a school teacher, for example, teachers routinely work at home grading papers or preparing lesson plans among other things. These acts on their own, however, may not give rise to compensability for a workers’ compensation claim if an injury should occur. If the employer knows the employee is working at home, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a compensable claim exists either. Instead, the courts will look to those situations where the employer encourages the employee to work from home, thus exercising some direction over the employee’s actions. The employer controlling the location where a job is to be performed whether it be at one’s own home or offsite somewhere else weighs heavy in an analysis.
Another situation occurs where some work is performed at home while other work is performed at the employer’s premises. Again, if expressly authorized by the employer, the home becomes another job site just as much as the headquarters or main office. An injury that occurs while performing work at home for the employer would present a valid workers’ compensation claim.
Interestingly, where work is performed at the employer’s request at both home and the main office, the going and coming rule would not apply to any injuries sustained while driving or otherwise commuting between offices. This is important as an employee’s claim for injury occurring while commuting to and from work is generally barred from compensation under the going and coming rule.
Contact Gerald Brody and Associates for Workers' Compensation Representation
If you’re injured while working at home or offsite, contact the attorneys at Gerald D. Brody & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your claim. Give us a call at (619) 345-5317.