Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Remote Workers?

The same workers’ compensation protections cover remote employees as in-office employees. Workers' compensation protections typically cover medical incidents if an employee is injured or becomes ill during operational hours. The burden of proof falls to the remote worker to report to their employer how their injury or illness is linked to or occurred while completing their job responsibilities. While workers’ compensation protections are available to at-home workers, fighting for benefits can be frustrating and challenging. Because most remote workers are home-based employees, they are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. An employer cannot deny a claim simply because they do not control an employee’s environment. Therefore, employees and employers must work together to provide a safe work environment, whether their employees are in the office or not.

How Working from Home Affects Workers’ Compensation

The pandemic shift to at-home work has created a surge in at-home work. More American workers are remote employees than ever. According to the US Census, a record-breaking 9 million Americans work from home at least part-time. The number of remote workers tripled in the years between 2019 and 2021. As the number of remote workers has increased, so too have the risks and injuries filed by employees to workers’ compensation plans across the nation. Many challenges exist for employers trying to create a safe work environment for their employees. One of the biggest of these is the limited access employers have to their employees’ work environments. It’s unrealistic to expect employers to enter every employee's home to check safety standards. Employees can end up with repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel or back pain from hours spent sitting behind a desk. Remote workers enjoy the flexibility of working from home, but studies have shown they are less likely to adhere to a standard work schedule, leading to sleep loss and unsafe working conditions. Because employers cannot monitor a remote employee’s work habits, it’s difficult to ascertain their exact work hours or if they’re making safe choices during working hours.

What are the Most Common Work-from-Home Injuries?

Remote workers who slip and fall in their workspaces or develop repetitive motion injuries that make it difficult to complete work tasks can expect workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance provides wage replacement and medical care to injured employees for covered injuries. When filing a workers’ compensation claim as a remote worker, your employer may want assurances that your home is safe and that your injuries were caused by work-related tasks, not chores around your home or household hazards.

You Can Trust the Car Crash Attorneys at McHargue & Jones, LLC

At McHargue & Jones, LLC, we can handle your compensation claim from beginning to end. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a consultation, and we can start working on your case immediately. We have a long history of helping car crash victims fight for compensation to help them heal from injuries. Our legal team is well-versed in Illinois law and the compensation negligence system. We can help you fight for fair compensation in your case. Call today at (312) 739-0000 to schedule a consultation.