For many companies, allowing employees to telecommute, or work from home, cuts down on costs and helps their bottom line. But those employees are not exempt from workers’ compensation coverage just because there isn’t a physical building for an accident to occur.
Even though an employer cannot control the telecommuters’ working conditions at home, courts across the country have found that the employers are still responsible for providing safe working environments for telecommuting employees.
If you had an accident at work and you were injured in the course or scope of your employment, you can apply for workers’ compensation, regardless of fault. An attorney that is well-versed in North Carolina workers’ compensation can help guide you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim while you recover from your injury.
According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer is responsible for medical expenses and two-thirds of lost wages for an injury caused in the workplace. Other remedies that may be available include compensation for permanent injury or death benefits, payable to spouses or next of kin.
For more information about workers’ compensation, here are some videos you can watch.
Generally, telecommuters will be covered by workers’ compensation. As an employer, you should work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your insurance covers all risks for telecommuting employees. Employees must also take responsibility by creating a home workspace that is healthy and safe.
Here are some best practices for employers and telecommuting employees to ensure a safe work environment:
- Have a policy in place that outlines and explains the expectation for employees working from home.
- Establish and enforce guidelines that telecommuters must follow in their home office.
- Train telecommuters on setting up a safe workspace, including educating them on the importance of ergonomics and safety procedures.
- Ensure telecommuting employees stick to a fixed schedule that includes breaks. This will make it easier to determine whether or not an injury happened during the course of employment.
- Visit your employees’ workspaces to help them set up and maintain a safe working environment.
- If possible, limit working from home to only those employees that have shown work efficiency and safety without supervision.
Schedule a consultation with our team of workers’ compensation and employment law attorneys to make sure your company and its employees are protected. If you are an employee that has been injured on the job, let us help you get the compensation you deserve.