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Telecommuters and workers' compensation

Quite a few people in New Jersey and elsewhere have the opportunity to work from home either full or part-time. This can be a wonderful thing for one's family and other life commitments. What happens, though, if a telecommuter gets hurt while on the job or suffers a work-related illness? Does he or she have the ability to file a workers' compensation claim.

Workplace accidents do happen quite frequently. Working from home does not prevent such incidents from occurring. If a home-based employee is hurt or suffers a work-related illness, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers do have to supply workers' compensation benefits in order to cover the cost of care and recovery. However, a home-based employee will have to supply sufficient evidence that the illness or injury resulted from his or her telecommuting job.

Employers do have the right to set specific guidelines regarding home-based work environment setup and safety and provide details regarding what may warrant a workers' compensation claim. These guidelines are usually outlined in an employee handbook and are there to protect the company from legal issues. For example, if one's employer specifies that work may only be completed in a designated home office space and the employee suffers an injury while working in another part of his or her house, the injury may not be covered under workers' comp. The full details of the incident would have to be reviewed before a decision to provide coverage could be made.

Home-based employees do have the right to coverage thanks to remote liability rules that are placed on employers. Workers' compensation claims may be filed if injury or illness strikes while working from home. Telecommuters in New Jersey who are struggling to have their claims accepted or who have not received fair coverage can turn to an experienced attorney in order fight for full work comp benefits.

Source: sba.thehartford.com, "The Liabilities of Letting Employees Work From Home (with a Checklist)", Julie Bawden-Davis, Accessed on March 1, 2017

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