There are some practices an employer can institute to limit workers' compensation liability such as:
In one case in Florida, a woman was hurt in a slip and fall accident when she tripped over her dog during a coffee break in her kitchen. A Florida Judge of Compensation Claims ruled that the injury was compensable.
In this case, the company's Telecommuting Agreement required employees to set up a permanent work space and created set work hours. The employee followed these guidelines and her injury occurred during normal business hours. The agreement did not restrict where she could use the restroom or take a break, nor did it limit the property she could have in her home, in this case the pet.
In the ruling, the judge determined this agreement established her home as an extension of her employer's office and it was no different than an employee sustaining a similar injury in the employer's break room.
Not all home-based injuries are considered compensable under workers' compensation, however. Cases can be complicated when they involve a remote worker who is working from a coffee shop, for example, or caring for their children in their home. In many cases, it will come down to the agreement with the employer and whether it clearly defines a designated workspace in the home. This is why employers can protect themselves to some degree by designating work hours and a workspace.
Remote work has introduced many complications into workers' compensation claims. While employers have almost no control over an employee's work environment at home, employees also face challenges. For example, proving an injury was work-related can be harder with less evidence.
Remote workers are still protected by Florida workers' compensation laws. If you have been hurt in an accident at home while telecommuting, you may face additional challenges in proving our claim. A workers' compensation lawyer in Florida can help you build your case and fight for the benefits you deserve.
At WorkInjuryRights.Com™, we have a combined 45 years of experience representing injured workers, including remote workers hurt in at-home accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation to review your case.