Remote Work Workers' Compensation
For many reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic, more workers in Arizona enjoy flexible work arrangements that allow them to work from home. Many employees may work remotely full-time. Others may operate on a “hybrid” schedule in which they work remotely and at the employer’s site at different times.
Unfortunately, issues can arise when an employee suffers an injury while working remotely and seeks workers’ compensation benefits. An employer and its workers’ compensation insurer may try to deny medical, lost income, and other benefits by claiming the injury did not occur while the employee was “on the job.” This denial can be costly, frustrating, and highly stressful for an injured remote worker.
If you suffered a job-related injury while working remotely, you should act now to protect your right to pursue all benefits you are due. Contact us today at Matt Fendon Law Group to speak with an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorney. We proudly serve as a rock for injured workers in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, including those who were hurt while working remotely. We can provide a free consultation.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Apply to Remote Employees?
Technology has changed the way we work. For instance, many people today can carry out their job tasks from a laptop computer at home as much as they can at an office. As a result, many employees choose to work from home or somewhere different from the traditional, fixed workplace. An employer can approve the employee’s choice. Some employers may even require an employee to work remotely.
Arizona law requires all employers, public and private, to provide workers’ compensation benefits if they employ one or more workers on a full-time or part-time basis, regardless of whether those employees work remotely. If a worker suffers a covered injury (or illness), the worker can qualify for benefits regardless of who was at fault for the injury — even if the employee was at fault.
Under Arizona workers’ compensation law, it does not matter whether your injury occurred at the employer’s job site or another location so long as the injury arose out of and in the course of employment. In other words, if you were carrying out your employer’s business and were hurt while doing so, you could be eligible for benefits.
At Matt Fendon Law Group, we know the important role that workers’ compensation benefits can play in the life of injured workers and their families. Benefits can include:
- Medical benefits (both immediate and long-term treatment costs)
- Lost-income benefits (covering a percentage of the wages that a worker loses due to being unable to work at full capacity, if at all)
- Permanent impairment benefits (or what are also called disability benefits and should reflect lasting harm to the employee)
If your employer has denied your remote work injury claim, we can review your case, explain your rights, and help you to explore all options available to you for seeking the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Work-from-Home Injuries?
In most circumstances, you could probably suffer the same types of injuries while working from a remote location like your home that you could suffer at an employer’s main workplace. Some of the most common work-from-home injuries include:
- Fractures (from slips, trips, falls, and other accidents)
- Repetitive stress injuries (caused by repeatedly engaging in the same motions and resulting in conditions such as lower back pain, tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Mental health injuries (although it must be unexpected, unusual, or extraordinary stress to qualify for workers’ compensation).
If you suffer any type of injury while working, regardless of where it occurs, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Your health is your top priority. You should also immediately notify your employer. Make sure to provide details such as:
- Location, date, and time of your accident
- How the injury happened
- Type of injury
- Whether anyone witnessed it, including a co-worker
You have limited time — just 90 days from the notice denying your claim — to file a request for a workers’ compensation hearing in Arizona. Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if your remote work injury claim gets denied.
What Is and Is Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
A common issue that arises when employers deny injury claims filed by remote workers is whether the injury “arose out of and in the course of employment.” If so, the injury should be covered under the employer’s workers’ compensation coverage, regardless of where it occurred.
Under the personal comfort doctrine, an employee’s injury could be covered even while the employee is doing something such as using the bathroom at home, going into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, or engaging in any other reasonable acts that address their personal comforts while carrying on with the employer’s business.
On the other hand, if you were working from home and slipped in the laundry room while putting your children’s clothes in the washing machine, you would likely not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Arizona. This would be due to the lack of any reasonable link between the injury and a work-related activity or risk.
Our Experienced Arizona Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
If you believe you have suffered a work-related injury as a remote worker in Arizona, get in touch with Matt Fendon Law Group. Our skilled and experienced work injury attorneys can handle the details of your workers’ compensation claim while you focus on your recovery. We take pride in fighting for workers and pursuing all benefits they are due, no matter how complex the case may be.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with our knowledgeable and compassionate Arizona workers’ compensation attorneys. We are ready to answer all your questions about workers’ compensation benefits for remote workers in Arizona.