There’s no doubt that the world looks very different than it did just a few short months ago. While many businesses continue to adjust to new restrictions and create new work policies, millions of Americans continue to work from home. It may become a strong trend as businesses learn that many employees function efficiently working from home. So the question of whether a work from home employee who sustains an injury is covered by workers compensation is a very hot topic.
But while almost everything is changing, one thing that has remained the same is that accidents happen – and they don’t care about your work environment. People are incurring injuries at home as they normally might while at the office. While these injuries are generally covered under workers’ compensation, does the same apply to those who are working from home?
While there are still exceptions, Pennsylvania Courts have generally held that work-from-home injuries are compensable under workers’ compensation.
Requirements for Workers’ Comp
There are certain parameters within which an injury must occur to be compensable under “workers’ comp.”
Course and Scope of Work Requirement
The main requirement is that the injury must occur within the Course and Scope of the injured workers Employment. In a work from home setting that generally means that the injury occurred while the employee is actually engaged in the furtherance of the employer’s business or affairs. Just because someone is working from home it does not mean that they are working 24/7. There are clearly times when a work from home employee is not furthering the employers interest. The clearest examples are when sleeping or eating dinner or watching TV. But there is a gray area that has caused some challenges for injured workers. For instance, is an injured worker covered by workers compensation if, during the workday, he falls walking down the stairs to get a cup of coffee? Generally speaking, the law also allows for general comfort exceptions of this nature. For example courts have held that a work from home employee was in course and scope of his employment for an injury occurs during the work day while on a short break for personal comfort. Therefore if a work at home employee is injured while getting a cup of coffee during the work day or on a trip to the bathroom, he or she is still on the clock and the injury should be covered by workers compensation. In sum, if a work from home employee is injured at home while furthering the employer’s interest it is a work injury and covered by workers compensation.
The PA Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help
There’s no doubt that compensation claims can often be quite confusing. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that suffering injury at work can have on all aspects of your life and the importance of being compensated for your past, present, and future damages. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!