Are Remote Employees Covered
Under Workers’ Compensation?
Feb. 17, 2022
In the last couple of years, it’s become more and more common for people to work remotely. This could be an individual choice they’ve made in their career or a mandate by their employer or state. Whatever the reason, the number of remote workers is on the rise and many people are concerned about their eligibility for benefits like workers’ compensation.
At the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC, we are committed to helping workers in Anchorage, Alaska, and throughout the area, including Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, and Palmer. If you’re concerned about your rights as a worker or have recently been injured while working remotely, call us today for experienced legal counsel you can trust.
Yes, You May Be Eligible
for Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that’s required to be held by most employers in Alaska. This insurance covers medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and lost wages of a qualified employee (including part-time and temporary) if they become injured or disabled as a result of their job. In exchange, employees agree not to pursue litigation with their employer should they get injured since the workers’ compensation will theoretically cover their needs. This helps to protect both workers and their employees from unforeseen costs. Employers in Alaska must pay for this coverage themselves, and it’s against state law to pass any of the costs onto the employee.
In most cases, you may still be eligible for your workers’ compensation benefits even if you weren’t working at your employer’s physical office location, and most plans cover any injury that occurs during the course of work. In fact, many jobs already have provisions set up for remote work for jobs that require their employees to travel, visit multiple sites a day, or work from home occasionally. More and more though, employers are realizing they need to ensure both a safe workplace in their offices as well as in their employees’ homes. This could mean outlining expectations for where and how work is to be done, guidelines for setting up a home office, or policies around what “work hours” and “break/rest hours” are.
However, it may be slightly more difficult to receive your compensation since the burden of proof will be on the employee to show that the injury sustained did in fact happen while they were carrying out their job duties.
Common Injuries When Working From Home
The types of injuries most commonly seen while working from home will vary depending on your line of work, but there are two that occur consistently. The first type of injury is called a “cumulative injury.” As the name implies, this type of injury builds up over time and is often caused by repetitive movements and overuse of certain parts of your body. In a work-from-home situation, this could mean injuries like carpal tunnel from working at a keyboard all day, back pain from sitting in a non-ergonomic chair, or muscle and tendon strain.
The second most common type of remote work injury is a slip-and-fall injury (this also happens to be one of the most common injuries in a traditional office as well). Many workplaces are set up to avoid as many slips, trips, and falls as possible, but when employees are working from home, they aren’t always thinking about their environment and what hazards may cause an accident. These injuries could come from spilled water on the floor, a pet running across the floor, or a child’s toy left in the middle of the room.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help You
If you’ve recently been injured while working remotely in the Anchorage, Alaska, area and are unsure how to go about getting your workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC today. In most cases, you are entitled to financial compensation, but it may require gathering and presenting evidence to secure it.