Working From Home Eligible for Workers Comp

Spencer Law Group June 24, 2020

Accidents at Home

Now that telecommuting and working from home is so widespread, we thought we would spend some time  on your Employer’s financial responsibility to you and your family in the event of a work-place injury while you are at home.

What happens if an employee trips over a dog toy while on the clock? The employer may be liable for the injury.

Recently, a California court held that a firefighter who fell from a ladder while trimming his wisteria was eligible for workers compensation. He was on call 24 hours a day in order to respond to emergencies, so the injury was a result of the performance of his job.

What to do: It’s an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment, even if the employee is off-site (it’s viewed under the law as part of an employer’s premises). There’s really no way to be assured that the employee’s home is safe (e.g., free from wires that he/she could trip on). Discussing the off-site work location (e.g., is it a separate room? sufficient space free from household activities?) may be the best that an employer can do.

Also understand that your workers’ compensation policy generally covers remote workers. They usually cannot be excluded from coverage merely because they work off-site. This policy should give you good protection.

If there’s an injury, the employee will have to prove that it was work-related.  Take pictures and document your remote office environment.  And, of course – call us ASAP