Due to COVID-19, employers had to implement protective measures for their employees, allowing them to work from home or telecommute as an alternative. However, three years later, this new way of working posed a new problem – could workers who experienced an injury or illness while working remotely be eligible for workers' compensation?
Types of Working-From-Home Injuries
Working-from-home injuries are generally distinct from those sustained in a traditional workspace. At work, you may have access to items such as ergonomic chairs and wrist protectors that promote safety; however, when working remotely, these resources may not be available. The most common type of work-from-home injuries include :
- Back and neck injuries: caused by incorrect posture while working at an unsuitable desk or chair.
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI): caused by long hours of typing or writing on a laptop.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: caused by repetitive computer mouse use.
- Eye strain: caused by looking at a screen for extended periods.
Some employers have attempted to evade liability by arguing that they lack control over the security of a remote workspace; however, this argument has typically been disregarded in court. If companies must be held accountable for safety conditions in an office environment, they shall also bear responsibility for any work setting that is authorized and established within an employee's home.
What Do I Need To Prove?
To receive workers' compensation benefits, injured remote employees must demonstrate the following:
- The accident occurred while you were working.
- The accident occurred in an area where it can be reasonably expected that you would be working.
- The accident occurred while you were performing job-related tasks or employment duties.
Yet, employers and insurance companies will attempt to fight or diminish your claim. If your claim for a work-related injury sustained while working from home is denied, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced New York workers' compensation lawyer to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.
How Schotter Millican, LLP Can Help You Navigate the Workers' Compensation Process
The skilled attorneys at Schotter Millican, LLP can help you understand the process and ensure that your rights are protected. We will review the facts of your work-from-home injury and fight to get fair compensation for your losses. Schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable lawyers today, so we can get started on your case.
Contact us today at (718) 550-0610 or fill out our form online for a free consultation.