Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

Will workers' compensation cover those who work from home?

Circumstances have forced many workers in New Jersey and across the country to work from home. How would the workers' compensation system of the state deal with claims for injuries suffered by employees who are telecommuting from home? The answer is that the particular circumstances of each injury will be considered.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the fact that an employee works from home will not create additional obligations for the employer. If, for example, an employee suffers a foot injury after dropping a box of work-related documents on his or her foot, the injury will likely be deemed work-related. However, if a worker suffers an electrical shock because of faulty wiring at his or her home, the injury will not be regarded as a work-related injury.

Other examples include a worker whose job involves using a sewing machine. If the needle accidentally pricks a finger, that injury will be work-related. However, a worker who breaks a leg after a trip and fall when rushing outside in response to a crying child will likely have his or her benefits claim denied.

Injured workers in New Jersey who have questions about their eligibility for workers' compensation while they are telecommuting for their employers may get answers by consulting with an attorney. Legal counsel who has experience in dealing in all aspects of workers' compensation can assess the circumstance to determine the viability of a claim, and explain the client's rights to benefits. Viable claims typically result in benefits paid to cover medical expenses, and if the injury caused a temporary disability, a portion of lost wages will be covered.

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