The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way millions of people work and where they work. Social distancing guidelines have required many companies to enable employees to work remotely from their homes when possible. Even after a vaccine is administered and we get back to a “new normal,” the work from home trend will most likely continue for some employees.

 

Keeping that in mind, what then happens if an employee working remotely suffers an injury? Are your employees still covered under your workers’ compensation insurance? While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered everyday life, remote working is not a new concept. Typically, if a remote worker is injured while conducting work-related activities, he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and will be covered under your workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Be sure to let your agent know where your employees are working (the address and state) and what their job description is.

How do you define “work-related injuries” for remote workers? In general, an employee injury or illness is compensable under workers’ compensation if it “arises out of and in the course of employment,” regardless of where the injury occurs. If the injury:

  • “Arising out of” relates to what the employee was doing at the time of the injury
  • “In the course of” relates to when the injury happened

 

A workplace injury may occur suddenly (like a minor burn) or develop over time (like carpal tunnel syndrome). In either case, a compensable injury must have occurred during work hours and from an activity related to the employee’s job.

Even if you have just one employee, it’s most likely required by state law that your business has workers’ compensation insurance. This is regardless of employees being remote or not. To find your state’s workers’ compensation remote worker requirements, it’s best to go directly to the source: your state workers’ compensation board.

If understanding workers’ compensation insurance seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. E-COMP can help make workers’ compensation easy and awesome. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the process and we’re passionate about providing workers’ compensation insurance for all size businesses across the country.

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