As the Coronavirus grips the nation, many events are being canceled in an effort to minimize the spread of the disease. Conferences, conventions, parades, and even the NBA have been suspended while medical professionals work stressful hours trying to understand more about the virus and how to prevent and cure it (beyond bed rest and your own immune system). Many companies are closing their doors and telling employees to work from home until further notice. For some, even amidst these panicked times, are pretty happy that they don’t need to commute to their office and can start their day in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
Telecommuting, better known as working from home (WFH), is a popular option for Colorado businesses. It saves employees time and commuting costs, which keeps them happy, and businesses don’t need as large of offices, meaning they can save some money. Now, however, telecommuting is nearly a necessity to stop COVID-19 from spreading around an office. People can be asymptomatic, meaning they have the virus in their system, but it isn’t affecting them and making them sick, and still spread it around to others through droplets from the body (which may naturally come out through a mere cough, or while speaking). Thanks to communication advances in cell phones, email, collaboration platforms such as Slack and Intercom, as well as video conferencing, working from home during this time is a benefit to businesses and employees.
However, during this time, it is possible that employees may injure themselves in their homes while on company hours, meaning Denver personal injury lawyers are going to have interesting cases coming forward as employees seek worker’s compensation. Can employees injured at home claim worker’s compensation from their employers? Can employers shun liability since the injury happened in the employee’s home and not on their property? As with any not-so-cut-and-dry legal question: it depends.
In order to a telecommuter to claim worker’s compensation against their company, they will need to prove that they sustained the injury performing work-related / work-mandated duties, during business hours, and that the employee wasn’t acting negligently. Were you injured walking up the stairs from a quick grocery store trip on a slow day? Unless you were going to deliver those groceries to a customer as a part of your job, you may be found responsible for your injuries as you may have acted negligently. But, maybe you went to the store to buy lunch, something you do while you’re in the office on a regular day. It’s a complex issue with thousands of nuances that only a Denver personal injury attorney like Jarrett Benson can help you navigate so that you can earn the Colorado worker’s compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Your employer will do everything in their power to shift the blame away from themselves. Worker’s compensation for telecommuters is a tricky subject, but we understand the legal system and the requirements to prove that you sustained your injuries as a result of doing your job from home. If you’ve recently been injured while working from home, contact us immediately to discuss your options. As we move forward through this pandemic, be careful and remember that if you sustain an injury while working from home during working hours, we’re here to help you seek worker’s compensation. Call us today for more information.