Can I Get Workers’ Compensation if I Work from Home?
More employees than ever before are able to do their jobs from a remote location. As technology and means of communication evolve, the need for a company’s workers to be gathered in a central location recedes. Even as work becomes increasingly computer-based, there are still opportunities for Ohio employees to become injured on the job. But if you’re injured while working from home for your employer, can you still receive workers’ compensation benefits? Read on to learn more about workers’ compensation for telecommuting employees.
Remote workers a growing population
According to one nationwide poll, 43% of all American workers said they spent at least part of their time doing their job outside of the central office in the past year. In 2016, 31% of workers reported that they worked remotely between four and five days a week. Remote work offers employees greater flexibility in their schedules and greater availability for their families at home. It can also offer substantial cost savings to employers who no longer need to provide office space for those workers who can do their jobs entirely from a remote location.
Benefits are available, but proving claims may be challenging
While working remotely offers workers many benefits, any work comes with a risk of injury. Workers who spend hours entering data or typing still bear a risk of developing repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel. If workers must store large batches of files from home, or haul product samples in and out of their car to display for clients, there is a risk that they could suffer a strain or sprain while lifting these objects, or trip and fall over them.
Workers who get hurt while on the job and working at home still have a right to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, just as they would if they were in an office. That said, workers may have a harder time proving that they were doing work for the employer when the injury happened. The worker will need to prove that, when the injury occurred, they were in the process of performing work for compensation, and that the injury was related to a work task. Without the availability of witnesses who could support the worker’s description of how the injury happened, workers will need to provide lots of detail on how they got hurt, perhaps even taking pictures of their work space and the scene after the accident. They will also need strong medical reports from physicians that show how their injuries were caused by the on-the-job accident they described in their claim. Having an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney to represent the workers in these claims can make a substantial difference in whether the claims are successful.
If you’ve been hurt on the job in Ohio, find out if you have a right to benefits for your injuries and missed work by contacting the dedicated and effective Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers at Weller | Steele | Miller for a consultation, at 614-468-4600.