As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees have switched from working at their offices to their homes. People have been concerned about the future of their company, other workers, and their safety. For many decades, Workers’ Compensation has provided medical benefits and wage reimbursements for employees who were injured on the job. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act extends their eligibility to people who were injured while working remotely at home.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.8 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses from the workplace in 2018. In fact, the National Safety Council states that an employee is injured on the job every 7 seconds. Based on the statistics, people can potentially continue to suffer injuries, despite working at home. As previously mentioned, any injury or illness that occurs as a result of work may be able to be compensated. However, it can be difficult for employees to provide sufficient evidence to confirm that they were injured on the job. It is even harder to provide credible evidence that an injury can be compensated while being away from the office.
In the case of Verizon Pennsylvania v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, an employee was injured while on the job at her home. As described in the case, an employee was working from home on the second level of her house. She received a phone call from her company, and she decided to go to her home office on the first level. However, she fell going down the stairs. Once she filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, her employer denied liability and claimed she was not working at the time. Eventually, a court responded that the injury would be compensated under the Workers’ Compensation Act. On the contrary, there can be other instances in which people are unable to be compensated for their injuries. In order to receive Workers’ Compensation, a person must be an employee, and their company must have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. The qualifying person must also have an injury or illness that occurred as a result of their work. The injury must also comply with the state’s regulations for reporting a case and Workers’ Compensation claim.
There are many ways to prevent injuries that can occur while remotely working. An example would be to limit the liability of Workers’ Compensation. Defining the working hours and tasks of each employee helps to not only maintain a good organization system, but also to decide whether an injury has occurred during working hours. It is a good idea to initiate a system of rules and regulations for workers to follow while at home. Dedicating a specific office space should also be included on the list. An appropriate work space should be free of distractions, noise, and clutter in order for people to concentrate. This will help to reduce injuries that may occur at home.
During this time, our country has reported a drastic increase in employees working remotely. Therefore, it is important to know rights that people are entitled to. If you believe you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation for an injury or illness that has occurred while working, contact our team of highly-skilled attorneys. O’Connor Law will help you navigate the Workers’ Compensation system and help you receive the compensation that you deserve. For a FREE O’Connor Law Workers’ Compensation consultation, call 800-518-4529.