Can I File for NY Workers Compensation if I Telecommute?
The technological advances of the past decade have allowed more people to work remotely than ever before. Even the very concept of what a “workplace” is is shifting. No longer a traditional brick-and-mortar, centralized location, a “workplace” is wherever an employee happens to be doing his or her work. However, suffering an injury can complicate matters for workers’ compensation purposes; if an employee suffers an injury while working at home, is he or she still eligible for workers’ compensation? The answer is yes, as explained below by a Long Island workers comp lawyer.
When Are Work from Home Injuries Covered by New York’s Workers’ Compensation Laws?
Work injuries “arising out of and in the course of the employment” are eligible for compensation under the New York workers’ compensation program. This means that the injury must occur during the employee’s regular work hours and while the employee is performing his or her actual work duties — regardless of where he or she does so. However, injuries that are the result of purely personal activities are considered to be outside the scope of employment and are thus non-compensable.
Which Injuries Are “Work-Related” and Which Are “Purely Personal”?
While working from home, it is often difficult to distinguish between activities that are “in the course of employment” and those that are purely personal, as employees who work from home frequently alternate between work-related activities and personal activities.
A few examples of injuries that likely would be considered work-related in a work from home environment include:
- Tripping over a computer cord that you are using for your work
- Falling out of your desk chair while working
- Throwing out your back while installing employer-mandated home office furniture
An example of an activity that likely would be considered purely personal in a work from home environment, and thus non-compensable, would be:
- Getting into a car accident while out running a personal errand
What Benefits Are Available for Remote Workers?
Remote workers are entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits they would be entitled to had the injury occurred on-site at a traditional workplace. The benefits include medical benefits, cash benefits, and, if applicable, death benefits. Compensation is not reduced merely due to the work-related injury having occurred while working remotely.
Contact a Long Island Workers Comp Lawyer for More Information about Benefits for Remote Workers
Suffering a work-related injury at home can complicate the workers’ compensation claims process. To maximize your chances of receiving the full compensation you are entitled to, please contact a Long Island workers comp lawyer at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco by using our online form or calling 631-582-3700. We serve both New York City and Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County.