Telecommuting. Telework. Flexible workplace. Remote work. Virtual work. Mobile work. Regardless of what you call it, all of these terms refer to work done outside of the traditional on-site work environment. And with so many more businesses offering remote work options, questions regarding workers’ compensation for telecommuting injuries has also increased.
What is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting allows an employee to work remotely (away from the business facility) at a location such as at home. Advances with communications devices and computer networking systems have made telecommuting so popular recently. In fact, the American Community Survey (ACS) found that the number of people telecommuting rose 79 percent between 2005 and 2012, and now accounts for nearly 37 percent of the U.S. workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, most telecommuters belong to one of four major occupational groups including: professional specialists, executives, administrative staffers, and managers.
Because of the major transformations happening today, the modern workplace has expanded to cover much more territory than just the office. Therefore, many laws, which were originally developed for the traditional work environment, have to now be analyzed from a whole new perspective.
So, what happens if you get hurt while working from home? Can you receive workers’ compensation for telecommuting injuries?
Workers’ Compensation for Telecommuting Injuries
The laws governing telecommuters are similar to those covering employees working in a more traditional environment. If an injury and/or illness arises “as a result of employment” or, “in the course of employment” (AOE/COE) then the injury and/or illness is covered by workers’ compensation. If the injury and/or illness is not work-related, it is not covered. So, if an employee has been injured while in the course of their employment, whether on-site or at home, coverage for workers’ compensation may be available.
Virtual employees may experience telecommuting injuries similar to those in an office setting. For example, repetitive motion injuries, back injuries, migraines can all occur in the remote office and may be compensable under workers’ comp.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Regardless of where you are located, if you are injured while performing your job duties, you have rights. The Mark Law Firm’s experienced team will guide you through the process of obtaining benefits for your workers’ compensation claim. Contact us online or call us at 908-460-8996 for a free consultation.