If you’re like many Americans at the moment, you’re settling into a work-from-home routine and getting stuff done, COVID-19 or not.
And if you’re like many employers, suddenly having so many of your employees working from home is a new source of anxiety, regardless of how reliable and trustworthy the team might be.
One of the big questions of the moment: What happens if an employee were to get hurt at home during business hours? Would workers’ compensation insurance cover their injury?
It’s easy to conjure up all kinds of scenarios. Imagine the employee who trips over the cat while going to the printer for a work document.
She files a claim alleging that the injury resulted from her employment. Her argument is that if she was not working, she would not have been on her computer or using her printer. But if she had not been working at home, there would not have been a cat over which to trip on the way to the printer. So, is this a compensable workers’ compensation claim?
Well, it’s depends.
First, the insurance carrier would consider the time and location of the accident. Did her trip and fall occur during work hours or in a designated work area such as a home office?
What was the employee doing exactly when the accident occurred? Was she involved in a work-related task or a personal errand?
The thing to remember is this: workers’ comp will pay a claim if your worker was on the clock and they can establish a link between the duties of their employment and the injury.
So how can an employer minimize risks associated with working from home? What follows are steps companies can take immediately:
Because of the coronavirus, millions of Americans who may have never telecommuted are doing so now. Remember, employers are responsible for providing the same safe work environment for telecommuters as for employees who work on company property. Following the above steps will help keep your employees safe and keep workers’ compensation claims to a minimum.
Javier Rivera is president of CCIG’s Risk Management department. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 720-330-7941.
CCIG is a Denver-area insurance, employee benefits and surety brokerage with clients nationwide. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.Back to Resources