Recently, it has become more common for employees today to work from home for at least some of the work week. Working from home is also called telecommuting. It can have tremendous benefits for an employee who gets a flexible schedule and saves on commuting costs. The employer also saves because they don’t need to maintain a physical workspace.
Despite the flexibility, employees who work from home may wonder if their home office is covered for workers’ compensation benefits. The answer is, potentially.
If an injury occurs from performing the duties required by your job than you will be covered by the benefits of workers’ compensation. It will not matter if you were doing the work from home or another location. Should an injury occur while you are doing your job tasks and you can prove that it happened that way, then you can file a workers’ comp claim.
It is important to note that it will be more difficult for telecommuters to prove a workers’ comp claim than it will be for someone working in an office. This makes it important for a work at home employee to keep detailed records to explain their work and show how it is separated from their social and individual time. Of course, for employees who need to meet with clients and entertain can find this line becomes blurry.
Even if you work as a salesperson who spends a lot of their hours entertaining customers and building a relationship you should be covered for injuries sustained while working. If a salesman takes a client to dinner to finalize a business deal and then gets in a car accident on the way back to their home office, they should be able to file for workers compensation. It should not matter that the home office is also their private residence.
For someone that does work from home it would be beneficial to keep a daily record of tasks that were performed that are job related. A simple journal outlining all workday accomplishments. This will help in the future if a work injury attorney needs to evaluate the circumstance of the injury.
Clearly defining the work day and what is included will help differentiate tasks that were for personal reasons and tasks that were work related. Even though it’s harder to prove it is definitely possible to collect workers’ compensation after and injury in the home office.