No matter what you do for a living, people will envy you if you do it from home. From the perspective of someone whose job requires physical presence for hours on end, being home seems like being free, and not even like working at all.
People who work from home for long enough to know better. While working from home sounds like a dream to many people stuck in a 9-to-5 job, there’s a trade-off that isn’t always visible to people on the outside looking in: the loss of benefits, legal protections, and workers’ compensation insurance.
Employees who telecommute may still have access to these things, but the growing number of freelancers and other self-employed workers are having to find alternatives to the benefit packages that conventional employment offers.
Workers’ Compensation When You Work From Home
Ultimately, workers’ compensation is more concerned with what you were doing at the time of the accident, and why, then they are with the physical location of the accident. Workers’ compensation requires that you were injured in the course of performing your job duties. For telecommuters, this would generally happen at home.
Many people who work from home are, in fact, excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. However, the reason is not that they work from home, but that many of them are independent contractors and freelancers, rather than employees. To be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, you must be employed.
You might be wondering why someone who works from home would even need workers’ compensation. While your home is probably less dangerous than a construction site, no place is completely free of safety hazards.
Depending on the type of work you do, you could be at risk for injuries directly resulting from the job. Office workers, for example, often develop stress injuries in their hands or arms from computer use, and this risk doesn’t go away just because you’re doing it in your own home.
If you do work from home, however, be aware that this can put you in a precarious position if you do become injured on the job. A workers’ compensation claim doesn’t require proof of negligence, but it does require proof that an injury took place. When you work from home, you may have a harder time finding evidence to support your claim.
If you have questions or concerns about your employment status and the legal implications of it, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney like Katherine. Her years of experience are sure to give you insight into your situation. For a free consultation, call, email, or text us at any time.