Anderson Workers’ Compensation and the Telecommuting Employee

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The workplace has changed over the past several years–and continues to do so–with the advent of technological advances, a push for more work-life balance, and the need to retain top talent. Companies expect employees to connected 24/7 and, consequently, workers can be productive in any part of the world. For telecommuting employees, this change in work culture brings an unprecedented ability to freely choose where, and how, to work. In fact, a 2015 Gallup poll revealed that 37 percent  of workers in the United States telecommute at least occasionally for work.

While the benefits in providing telecommuting options is clear for employers, the flip side of this work arrangement is not always so obvious. If you or someone you know has questions about workers’ compensation insurance, contact a seasoned Anderson workers’ compensation attorney today to learn about your rights and obligations under the law.

Covering Telecommuting Employees

While telecommuting is great for both employers and employees, it also has its downsides. Specifically, there is a need for organizations’ workers’ compensation insurance companies to cover employees working from home or other venues that are not within employers’ control. A telecommuting employee may not seem like much of a risk, however, many employers are depending on blind faith when it comes to the work environment and most likely underestimating their potential exposure.

While state law governs workers’ compensation coverage, the following telecommuting scenarios were considered valid claims and benefits were paid:

  • An employee fatally died from a blood clot that resulted from the development of deep vein thrombosis as a result of sitting at his desk for hours every day;
  • An hard-working employee woke up in the middle of the night and checked her email on her phone while walking down the stairs resulting a bad fall; and
  • A worker went to his car to collect his briefcase and on his way to his home garage he tripped over his dog and broke his leg.

Generally, states define a payable workers’ compensation claim by noting that it must arise out of and occur within the course of employment. The second part of that phrase–within the course of employment–can refer to the place, time, and circumstances of the incident. In other words, if a telecommuting employee is working from home, he or she could claim that any injury suffered in the home is work-related.

There are certain scenarios, however, that would likely not be considered a valid claim because the circumstances are too removed from the “course of employment”.

Anderson Workers’ Compensation Help

Telecommuting can be beneficial to both the employer and the employee. That being said, this workplace set up does not give either party carte blanche to ignore possible liabilities or assert all injuries to be job related. If you or someone you know is concerned about a workers’ compensation issue, contact the knowledgeable legal professionals at The Law Offices of Steven M Krause PA These honest and aggressive attorneys will pursue your case from the initial filing of the claim through the appeals process, if necessary. Call (864) 225-4000 today for your initial case evaluation.


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