The employment landscape changed for many people in 2020, as more and more employees in various industries transitioned to remote work.
What does that mean for you, however, if you’re a remote worker who gets injured on the job? Even if you work a fairly sedentary position, you can still develop something like repetitive strain injuries in your hands and wrists from tapping on a keyboard all day. Alternatively, you could injure your back carrying a box of files in from your car. You could even slip, trip or fall while reaching for something in your home office.
Even remote workers may be entitled to workers’ comp coverage
If your injury “arises out of and in the course of [your] employment” you may, in fact, be entitled to workers’ comp benefits — even if you were working out of your basement office at home.
In practical terms, that means looking at what you were doing at the time your injury occurred and when the injury happened. While the line between “home” and “work” can get a bit blurry when you work remotely, this means asking questions like:
- Were you injured during your working hours?
- Were you engaged in normal work activity when the injury occurred?
- Were you injured in your work area, or another part of your home?
For some injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, you may have little trouble connecting the dots between your condition and your work activity — even when working remotely. You may have a much harder time making an effective claim, however, if you tripped over your dog while trying to put files away or fell down your steps after you grabbed a cup of coffee. Your employer (or their insurance company) may try to cut a fine line between what counts as “work” and what doesn’t.
What if your workers’ comp claim was denied?
Workers’ compensation is supposed to be an easy process and a no-fault system that gives workers fast relief after an on-the-job injury — but it doesn’t always work that way. An experienced legal advocate can help you overcome objections to your claim.