The physical closure of many offices and workplaces in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 health emergency ushered in a new era of remote work for millions of employed Americans and may herald a significant change in the way we work and how a large segment of the workforce will operate in the future. But are workers operating under this type of work, remote work, covered by the protection of workers’ compensation laws?
Yes, in the state of California, employees who work from home are covered by workers’ compensation policies. However, if an employee is injured at home, the compensation process is a bit more complex. Generally, in work accidents at home, there are no witnesses to support that a work activity caused the accident. The most critical factor in determining whether the injury applies to claiming workers’ compensation benefits is being clear that the accident or injury occurred while an employee was completing a job task during work hours.
Second, the worker must show evidence that they were acting in the best interest of their employer when they became ill or injured. Most of the injuries suffered by remote workers are caused by a lack of adequate and comfortable equipment to perform their job duties. If the employee identifies that their home is exposed to a risk or danger, he or she is obliged to send an email to the HR department of their company (including evidence such as photos or videos) to notify the situation and thus seek a solution.
It is important to note that it is not up to the employer to determine whether an injured employee has a valid claim. Every workers’ compensation claim is subject to an investigation that complies with state employment law. We cordially invite you to contact our legal team to assist you in your workers’ compensation case.