In a traditional work environment, such as an office, warehouse, restaurant or store, you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job. But in today’s work-from-home world, questions can arise about whether workers’ comp applies to injuries that occur there.
You can receive worker’s comp benefits for injuries suffered while working from home, as long as the cause of the injury was work-related. As OSHA phrases it, injuries suffered while working from home are covered by workers’ comp if the accident occurred “while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and the injury … is directly related to the performance of work.”
For remote workers, proving that an injury at home is work-related can be complicated, particularly if the accident is something that could have occurred while you were not working. For example:
You tripped on a phone cord or cable, fell and broke a bone or sprained an ankle.
You slipped because there was water on the bathroom floor.
You were in the kitchen and cut your hand when a glass fell into the sink.
If any of these scenarios happened in a traditional workplace, there is no question that Connecticut workers’ compensation law would cover you, even if your own negligence contributed to the injury. That’s because workers’ comp is no-fault insurance, which means you are entitled to benefits as long as you were hurt on the job, regardless of who was at fault.
But if the same injury occurs in your home, you will have the burden of providing evidence that the injury was work-related — that is, the accident occurred while you were performing your job. This may include having to show that the incident happened during your work shift, that you were logged into your company’s information systems, that you were using company equipment or that you were in the part of your home where you perform your work. For example, an employee might drop a box of work documents and injure his or her foot or may puncture a fingernail using a sewing machine to perform garment work. However, getting hurt in the kitchen while on a lunch break might not be considered work-related.
If you suffered an injury while working from home, you should not be discouraged from pursuing workers’ compensation. The benefits system has accepted that remote workers can and do get hurt on the job. Discuss the situation with a qualified lawyer who can help you understand what types of evidence will help prove that your at-home injury was work-related.
At Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C., we have a record of success in Connecticut workers’ compensation cases and we are ready to discuss your potential claim. Please call 203-745-0942 or contact us online. You can visit our Hamden or East Haven offices or consult with us remotely.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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