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Can telecommuters file work comp claims?

Law Offices of James M. Curran

More people in New Jersey and across the country are telecommuting for their jobs. The ability to work from home or anywhere in the world is a wonderful thing. But what happens when a telecommuter suffers a work-related injury or illness? Is he or she able to file a work comp claim?

The results of a Gallup Pole completed in 2015, suggest that at least 37 percent of employees nationwide telecommute, either full or part-time. Their jobs mainly involve computer or phone work. When working from home, if an injury or illness occurs that is related to one’s employment, it may be possible to seek compensation. However, one will have to prove that the injury or illness was a direct result of the telecommuting job.

One’s employer may set specific guidelines as to what may qualify for a workers’ compensation claim in an employee handbook. For example, if an employer states that one’s work space is confined to a home office, if an employee falls and suffers an injury in any other area of the house or elsewhere, the injury may not meet the requirements for a work comp claim — even if the employee was working at the time. Such guidelines can help employers avoid liability, but no safeguards are perfect. It may still be possible for an injured or sick employee to achieve compensation for his or her losses.

Remote liability is meant to protect those who work from home. If an injury or illness arises and it can be directly linked to one’s telecommuting responsibilities, a work comp claim may be filed. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist New Jersey telecommuters in taking the steps necessary to seek full medical and monetary coverage — if doing so is deemed appropriate.

Source: workerscompensation.com, “Remote Liability“, John Gerboth, Feb. 17, 2017

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