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Does workers’ comp apply if someone works from home?

As a business owner, you’ve had a lot of your employees switch to working from home over the last two years. Maybe some of them are planning to never return to the office.

You don’t mind having them work from wherever they are happiest and most productive, but you are concerned about the ramifications of having workers stay home. For instance, you know that your company generally has to provide workers’ compensation benefits to someone who is hurt on the job. But what if that worker gets hurt while they’re at home? Do they still qualify?

They do if it was determined to be work-related

This is a bit of a tricky area, as workers comp is supposed to apply, even when workers are not at the office but are working from home. The catch is that the injury itself has to be work-related in order for them to qualify. These lines can get a bit blurry because the worker is in their personal residence at the time.

For instance, if a worker suffered serious injuries because of faulty wiring in their house, resulting in a fire, that’s not likely a work-related issue. But if they have to use certain machines in the performance of their duties, and they are injured by one of these machines, that likely would be work-related. The injuries happened in exactly the same place, but the first was related to issues with the person’s home, while the second only happened because they were doing their job at home.

As you can imagine, these types of cases often lead to confusion and disputes, and you must know what options you have to protect your company and your future.

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