2020 marked a year in which there was a notable spike in the number of New York employees who telecommute. In a good number of situations, remote working from home proved successful on a number of fronts, both for workers and their employers. As a result, some businesses are electing to make working from a home a more permanent concept. Remote working raises questions about workplace injuries, however, and these include queries about whether workers’ compensation coverage extends to people who are working from home.
State law and workers’ compensation coverage
The first consideration of whether a remote employee is covered by workers’ compensation depends upon whether or not the employer is mandated to maintain coverage. Not all employers are required to provide it under New York law however.
Scope of employment
Assuming that the employer is required to carry this type of insurance, the next issue is whether an injury occurred during the scope of a worker’s employment when workplace injuries have taken place at an employee’s home. In simple terms, was a person injured at home in the course of undertaking work to benefit their employer? In the end, determining whether an injury will be covered by workers’ compensation benefits is not so much a question of whether an accident occurred but rather when it happened.
There is no doubt that pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for a remote or at-home worker can be more of challenge that a case in which an employee is injured on a business’ premises. This is why such a victim will find it advisable to have the assistance of an experienced attorney throughout the process.