The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we go about life on a daily basis. We have adapted to a “new normal” that includes several lifestyle changes - wearing face masks in public places, hand sanitizing, and for many people who used to work in offices or schools, working remotely. This “new normal” has also brought about confusion pertaining to longstanding procedures and processes.
If you’re working from home, you might be wondering if workers’ compensation would still cover injuries or illness. Unfortunately, like many other questions that have surfaced during this pandemic, the answer hasn’t been clearly determined. Each state has its own rules and regulations for worker’s compensation, but most determinations will boil down to a few requirements.
To view Missouri’s click here.
To view Kansas’ regulations, click here.
Changing Work Circumstances & COVID-19
Generally, if an employee is injured at home, they wouldn’t be eligible for worker’s compensation through their employer.
But with more and more positions moving to remote work during this unprecedented time, this calls for reevaluation. If a worker’s comp claim is due to an injury that occured at the employee’s home, the employee would have to prove that the injury arose while they were performing their work duties.
Eligible or Not?
To sum up, an employee would have to demonstrate that the incident that caused the injuries was work-related. The injury must also be reported within a specific amount of time.
Additionally, the injury can’t come from a risk or hazard that would have existed in the employee’s normal, non-employment life. This requirement makes worker’s compensation claims for remote workers even more complicated. However, if an injury occurs during the course of employment while the employee is engaging in work-related duties, it will most likely be determined fair game for a worker’s compensation claim.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new and unprecedented territory for worker’s compensation claims. Therefore, you may want to contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney if you have suffered a work-related injury while working remotely.