Employees may find themselves navigating the new world, for some, of telecommuting. Often, telecommuting involves “gig economy” jobs focusing on independent contractors. Now, many of New Jersey’s full-time employees work out of their homes. Some questions and concerns arise regarding this situation. Namely, many wonder how working at home affects workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ compensation and telecommuting
When an employer approved or designates a work-at-home agreement, the employee may still collect unemployment compensation if injured on the job. New Jersey is a no-fault state, so negligence becomes unnecessary to prove when filing a claim. That said, someone does need to prove the accident was work-related.
Consider the situation where someone works at a computer at a desk at home. The worker participates in a video conference call and must engage with others. He or she somehow slips and falls when getting up from the chair to procure files. Such an injury may appear to fall under workers’ compensation’s umbrella.
What if the employee got up to get a snack from the refrigerator while “on the clock?” A gray area may arise here since the worker was not performing essential work duties. The worker was not on an official break, either. How do such things factor into a workers’ compensation claim?
The employer could challenge the claim, which may end up denied. Each case might be different, and the overall circumstances likely require examining.
Legal assistance with telecommuting workers’ comp claims
Since so many office jobs now occur at home, confusion may reign over workers’ compensation rules. Perhaps working with an attorney to file the initial claim may be advisable. If a claimant receives a denial, an attorney may assist with an appeal, as well.
An employee may rely on workers’ compensation to cover life’s expenses. An attorney might assist someone confused about his or her claims situation.