In the midst of this pandemic, you may have been among the 63 percent of Americans working from home. A recent Gartner survey predicts that 48 percent of workers will continue to work remotely, at least part-time, even when it is safe to return to work physically.
Of course, working from home has its drawbacks. It also raises serious questions such as what would happen if an employee was injured while performing his work at home.
Workers 'Compensation (often abbreviated to Workers' Comp.) Laws and requirements vary by state, but in general, all companies that have employees must have insurance coverage for workers. It helps cover medical care and lost wages for an employee who is injured at work.
With many employees working from the kitchen table or home office, it helps to know how workers' compensation can come in. (As always, talk to your local ERIE agent for questions about your specific policy.)
Will workers' compensation cover an employee if they are injured while working from home?
If an employee is injured in the workplace, they are usually covered by the employer's compensation policy. Employee compensation provides coverage for injury or illness that employees maintain during the scope and extent of the employment. This applies regardless of negligence, with the workers' compensation laws varying by state.
Most telecommuters are still covered by their employers' compensation coverage, whether they are full-time or temporary due to pandemic residency.
"It is important to remember that workers' compensation insurance is not linked to a building," said Leo Heintz, Vice President of Commercial Products at ERIE. "It follows you wherever you go, provided you follow the political situation while at work."
What are common injuries that can occur when working from home?
Common injuries experienced by office workers in the workplace include carpal tunnel syndrome; back trunks and trunks; and slips, stumbles and falls. The injuries or illness must usually occur due to a work-related activity that is to be covered under the workers' comp.
"Injuries are possible even if you have a desk job," says Heintz. That is why it is important to practice the same good ergonomic activities in your home office as when you do in your regular office. Simple things like good posture and remembering to take time and stretch, or getting up and walking around, can make all the difference.
Questions about your coverage? We are here for you. Talk to your local ERIE agent for a coverage review or quote that includes work compensation.