Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation if I Work from Home?

03 April 2023
Lisa A. Connolly
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation if I Work from Home?

Obviously, Covid 19 has changed the American workplace in many ways. One way is that many employees are now working from home. In the summer of 2022, the Pew Research Center estimated 59% of US workers are working from home most of the time and 18% some of the time. Although this trend has shifted a bit as Covid has decreased, the numbers are still higher than they have historically been.

If I am working from home and sustain an injury, can workers’ compensation apply? The simple answer is YES. However, it is a new and complicated area of the law and is therefore an issue that likely will require the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

As a result of these new work from home circumstances, House Bill 447 was created and signed into law. This law amends Ohio Revised Code 4123.01(c). This section defined what an “injury” is and what an “injury” is not. The amendment states an “injury” does not include an injury or disability sustained by an employee who is performing their job duties in a work area inside their home that is separate and distinct from the location of the employer UNLESS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY:

  1. The employee’s injury and or disability arises out of the employee’s employment.
  2. The employee’s injury and or disability was caused by a special hazard of the employee’s employment activity.
  3. The employee’s injury and or disability is sustained in the course of an activity undertaken by the employee for the exclusive benefit of the employer.

The bill seems to put an additional burden on injured workers. One can see how the facts surrounding each case will be very different thus leading to different outcomes on a case-by-case basis. These situations are likely going to require injured workers seek counsel for advice on filing these types of claims if they arise. And, it will be essential to have the fact patterns surrounding any injury properly presented from the very beginning of the claim. So, if one finds themself in the situation of applying for benefits in this type of setting, the earlier one consults with legal counsel, the better the chances will be of having a claim that is accepted.

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