These days, more Minnesota residents than ever are working remotely. While this offers better convenience and comfort, there are still potential risks of injury or illness. It’s important to understand how workers’ compensation works with remote employees.
Are remote employees covered by workers’ compensation?
Remote employees are covered by workers’ compensation just like any other employees of a company. As long as those workers are regular employees who are on the company’s payroll, they are entitled to workers’ comp benefits if they suffer an injury or illness while working.
What are common injuries suffered by remote workers?
When people work remotely, it’s not exactly the same thing as working in an employer’s office due to the layout or safety standards of an office workplace. Remote workers can have accidents while working at home such as slipping on a slippery floor from an accidental spill in the kitchen. They can trip on something scattered on the floor. They might also suffer from wrist pain from a home workstation that’s not ergonomic.
Repetitive motion injuries are the most common among remote employees. This injury can occur when the workstation isn’t ergonomic while they work in front of a computer. Over time, remote workers can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and back problems.
Are companies required to carry workers’ compensation for remote employees?
Most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance when there are at least one or more regular employees working for them, including those who work remotely. If a remote worker suffers an on-the-job injury or illness, they can file a claim to recover benefits to pay for their medical bills, lost wages and temporary disability.
While workers’ compensation benefits are available for remote employees who suffer injuries or illness while on the job, they are not when the injury occurs from something other than their work. For example, if the person is on their break and goes outside on their porch to smoke and twists their ankle while outside, workers’ compensation would not apply to that injury.
Remote workers should take measures to stay safe while working. Keeping a clutter-free, ergonomic and well-lit work environment can help reduce the risks of injury.