These days, many employees are working from home, and you may be a member of this group.
But as a remote employee, what happens if you sustain an injury? Do you have coverage under workers’ compensation?
Policies for remote employees
The state of Pennsylvania requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees, including those who work remotely. You may have a remote work policy that covers basics such as working hours, time management practices and equipment use. The company policy may also contain tips to help you maintain a safe working environment, but accidents happen.
Burden of proof
Your employer does not have control over your remote working environment. However, courts find that this is not enough reason to deny you workers’ compensation coverage as a remote employee. The burden of proof is on you to provide evidence that your injury occurred during working hours while you engaged in tasks on behalf of your employer.
Claim for benefits
You must report your injury to your employer within 21 days if you wish to receive compensation for your medical expenses and any loss of wages. Your employer should provide you with a list of insurer-approved physicians you can see for treatment during the first 90 days following your injury. If you need further medical care after that time, you are free to consult the physician of your choice. For remote workers, courts often view the hazards of the home environment in the same light as they do the hazards of an office work environment. Legal guidance will help answer any questions you might have and ensure that you make no missteps in filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.