How does telecommuting affect workers’ comp?

| Mar 16, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Telecommuting reflects one of the ways the workforce changed dramatically in recent years. Many workers now find it possible to perform all the duties of their jobs in their Indiana residences. Cost savings, convenience and peace of mind come from working at home. However, questions may arise about workers’ compensation if someone is injured.

The alternate worksite issue

When someone works at home and performs the job’s essential duties, then that worker may find workers’ compensation benefits accessible. For example, if someone lifts a box filled with files and paperwork and hurts his or her back, workers’ compensation might cover the injury. The worker performed a duty directly related to the job, so the problem may appear work-related.

However, if the employer did something outside the scope of the job, challenges may arise. What if the employee went to feed his or her dog and fell? Although the worker was “on the clock,” an employer might challenge the claim. After all, feeding the dog was not part of the worker’s official duties.

Therein lies a concern about alternate worksites. Home life and work life could end up co-mingled, possibly leading to challenges and denials of workers’ compensation claims.

Addressing challenges to workers’ compensation claims

Without worker’s compensation payments, an injured employee might experience significant financial problems. Therefore, a work-at-home employee might need to take extra steps when filing for workers’ compensation. Those unsure of how to file the initial claim may ask an attorney for assistance. Even an initial advisory meeting might prove valuable.

An initial workers’ compensation denial might not be the final decision. If the claimant receives a denial, working with an attorney to file an appeal could become necessary for those hoping to overturn the initial decision. An attorney could prepare and submit the appeal on a client’s behalf.