Workers’ Compensation Claims for Remote Workers
Now, more than ever, people throughout New York are working from home. While there are undeniable benefits to working remotely, it is not a perfect scenario, and unfortunately, injuries can happen even within the confines of a home office. While people injured when working can typically recover workers’ compensation benefits, it can be challenging to prove harm is compensable outside of a standard office environment. If you were hurt while working at home, and you have questions about workers’ compensation claims for remote workers, it is wise to speak to an attorney about your options. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a skilled Rockland County workers’ compensation lawyer who is dedicated to helping injured workers understand their rights and pursue any benefits they may be owed. Ms. Crown regularly represents people in workers’ compensation matters in Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Westchester, and Ulster Counties and in the greater metropolitan area.Work Injuries in Home Offices
Many work injuries are not limited to typical office settings but can affect employees working from home as well. For example, remote workers may develop conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive keyboard and mouse use. Additionally, while navigating their home offices or conducting work-related tasks at home, employees can slip or trip and fall, resulting in severe injuries like brain trauma, fractures, and contusions. Home-based employees may also sustain muscle strains or sprains while lifting heavy packages sent by clients or employers. These injuries can be just as debilitating as those sustained in a conventional office.Workers’ Compensation Claims for Remote Workers
Under New York's Worker's Compensation Act (the Act), most employers are obligated to provide workers' compensation benefits to their injured workers. Typically, these benefits compensate the injured workers for lost wages and medical expenses incurred due to their harm.
Workers must meet several criteria to qualify for these benefits, however. First, the injured individual must be classified as an employee. Further, the injury must be work-related, meaning it occurred while the employee was actively engaged in their job responsibilities and not during personal or leisure activities.
Employers often dispute the work-related nature of injuries, especially when they occur in a home office. According to the Act, however, an injury will be deemed work-related and therefore compensable if it happened when the injured employee was furthering the affairs or business of the employer. In other words, if the injury occurred while the employee was performing job-related tasks or addressing work-related issues as part of their responsibilities, it is likely to be covered under the Act.
Several factors can influence the determination of whether an injury is work-related. For example, if the employee had established working hours, and the injury occurred within those hours, it is more likely to be considered work-related. Similarly, if the employee only used one specific location in their home as their designated office space, and the injury occurred there, it strengthens the argument that the injury is work-related. Evidence that the employee was logged into the company's network or other proof of active work at the time of the incident can support the claim that the injury is work-related as well.Consult an Experienced Rockland County Lawyer
Many employees who sustain work-related injuries, even in a home office setting, may be entitled to recover benefits. If you've suffered an injury while working at home, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to discuss workers’ compensation claims for remote workers. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is an experienced Rockland County lawyer, who can guide you through the process of seeking any benefits you may be owed to assist you in recovering and moving forward with your life. Ms. Crown’s office is located in New York, and she often represents people in workers’ compensation claims in Rockland, Dutchess, Westchester, Orange, and Ulster Counties and in the greater metropolitan area. You can contact Valerie through the form online or by calling 845-708-5900 (office number) or 845-598-8253 (Valerie’s direct cellphone 24/7).