Your Right to Workers’ Compensation as a Remote Employee
November 30, 2020
The increasing number of remote employees raises questions regarding work-related injuries and the right to workers’ compensation benefits.
In an ongoing effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many companies have employees working from home. While this provides certain advantages, it also poses risks. Not being in a formal work environment or having access to tools and equipment increases the risk for employees of incurring on-the-job injuries. To protect yourself, it is important to be aware of common hazards and your rights regarding workers’ compensation benefits.
The Hazards of Working from Home
Concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in large numbers of people working from home. According to a Stanford University study, nearly 50% of the workforce is now working remotely. While not having to make your usual work commute, having a more relaxed attitude when it comes to work attire, and being able to take coffee or lunch breaks in your own kitchen are some of the benefits remote workers enjoy, there are certain risks.
An inability to maintain proper standards when it comes to work-place ergonomics and other general safety practices are major issues for remote workers and can increase the likelihood of on-the-job accidents and injuries. Among the most common problems include:
- Increased computer screen time and poor lighting conditions in home offices, resulting in a greater chance of eye strain;
- Using desks, chairs, and other home office equipment that does not meet recommended guidelines, increasing the risk of soft tissue injuries in the neck, shoulders, back, and wrists;
- Completing tasks by hand that were previously assisted by automated equipment, resulting in repetitive stress injuries;
- Having to accept heavy package deliveries or manage shipments from home without support, resulting in hernias, back sprains, and other overuse injuries.
Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It is up to employers to recognize the potential risks remote workers face, to manage their workloads, and to ensure they have the tools or office equipment they need. When they fail to do so and injuries occur as a result, remote workers are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Under the Florida Statutes, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries that arise out of or in the course of employment, even if you work from home. However, there are some hazards that are beyond the employer’s control or responsibility. When injuries occur due to these conditions, workers’ compensation benefits are likely to be denied. Common examples include:
- Slips and falls due to cluttered floors and hallways at home;
- Getting struck by loose fixtures or items improperly placed on shelves;
- Burn injuries due to electrical fires or spilled hot liquids;
- Exposure to smoke, mold, or other hazardous substances in the home.
Contact Our New Port Richey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When on-the-job injuries happen while working from home, our New Port Richey workers’ compensation attorney is here to help you get the benefits you deserve. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.