Workers’ Compensation While Working From Home
With a growing number of companies boosting their digital infrastructure, work-from-home (WFH) is becoming an increasingly popular concept for businesses. However, this has given rise to an important question: what happens when a remote worker suffers an injury while working from home? Are you still eligible to receive workers’ compensation for your injury? Let us address this issue in the context of workers’ comp laws in Pennsylvania.
How to Determine if a WFH Injury is Work-Related?
According to the workers’ compensation laws in PA, off-site injuries (which occur outside the workplace) are covered for workers’ comp as long as the injury is work-related. This can be somewhat difficult to prove when you are working remotely because, in theory, the injury could also have occurred at home or elsewhere at a time when you were not working.
Some of the key questions that will decide whether your work-from-home injury is work-related and thus eligible for workers’ compensation include:
- Was the worker acting for the employer’s benefit when he or she suffered the injury?
- Did the employer require or expect the worker to perform that activity which caused the injury?
- Did the employer approve in advance the injury-causing work-from-home activity?
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania can address these legal aspects effectively for you and help you establish a strong claim for compensation.
Injuries Sustained during a Break from Work
When you are working on-site and you suffer an injury during lunchtime, workers’ compensation in PA may or may not cover the injury. Each case is different and “comfort breaks” may or may not be covered, depending on the circumstances.
During your workday at home, if you take frequent breaks or get interrupted because of family, guests or other personal reasons, any injury occurring in those circumstances might be considered outside the scope of your actual work.
WFH is Treated Differently from a Traveling Employee
The workers’ compensation law in PA differentiates between work-from-home employees and traveling employees. When you are traveling on the job, workers’ comp can be a bit more lenient in coverage. However, as a WFH worker, you do not get the same expansive protections as a traveling employee.
In order to recover workers’ comp benefits as a remote worker, you will be required to prove that you were “acting in furtherance of the interests of your employer.” Here are two examples based on past legal cases that explain WFH related workers’ compensation:
- A WFH employee falls down the stairs while going from his workstation to the kitchen for a quick snack. This injury will be compensable.
- A WFH employee slips and falls while outside the home to obtain personal mail. This injury will not be compensable.
Work with a Seasoned Workers’ Comp Lawyer in PA
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries during the course of your work as a remote worker, make sure you have an experienced PA workers’ compensation attorney by your side. Robinson Law in Eastern Pennsylvania is committed to helping you protect your legal rights. To schedule a consultation, call us today.