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Workers Comp for Remote Employees

If you get injured at home while working, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation acts as an insurance policy, giving employees the peace of mind that if they get injured while doing their job, they will be compensated for their injuries. Employees in Missouri can rest assured they will receive workers’ compensation regardless if the accident results from their actions or that of their employer.

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However, with the increasing number of people working remotely or from home, many employees wonder if workers’ compensation still applies to them. Is this true?

What the Policy Says

A classic situation for workers’ compensation is offering financial aid for work-related injuries. By this logic, that includes injuries that occur outside of the office or workplace, as long as the injury resulted from a work-related activity. For instance, injuries that appear during an official business trip may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

But for employees working from home, the matters aren’t always as clear. These cases can swing either way, and the context of the injury becomes crucial. If you get injured at home while working, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you will have to go through a lot of hassle to prove your injury occurred because of your work activities.

The Case of Sandberg v. JCPenney

There are precedents of these cases going the way of the remote employee. One such instance is Sandberg v. JCPenney, a designer who received workers’ compensation for her injury after toppling over her dog while going to the garage. Sandberg worked from home and had most of her materials in the garage. Because of this, the jury decided that her walk from her house to the garage indeed constituted a work-related action, so she was eligible for compensation.

But it took a while for Sandberg to win her case. Initially, the court denied the claim, but she provided more details of the occurrence during the appeal that eventually worked in her favor. However, in her case, she was required to work from home, since that is where the studio is located, so the court decided that her home also constitutes the workplace.

So Can You File a Claim?

Being a remote worker doesn’t automatically mean you are ineligible for workers’ compensation, but the facts of the incident become crucial.

If you are injured while working remotely at home or otherwise, you should inform your employer immediately. Be sure to document your injuries and keep a record of medical costs. Contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney to discuss what your next steps should be.

Staying Healthy When Working at Home Remotely

Working at home has plenty of perks—no commute, more flexible hours, wear what you want—but it can also be a real health hazard if you’re not careful. Long periods spent sitting or standing in the same spot can lead to back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other injuries. And without the structure of a traditional workday, it can be easy to let unhealthy habits like snacking and skipping meals slide. But there are a few simple things you can do to stay healthy while working at home. Here are three of the most important:

Create a Regular Routine and Stick to It as Much as Possible

Like you would if you were going into an office every day, it’s important to create a routine when working from home. This will help to boost your productivity and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Start by getting up at the same time each day and taking some time to exercise or meditate. Then, get dressed in something that makes you feel confident and ready to work. Establishing set working hours is also helpful, as it will prevent you from feeling like you are always on the clock. At the same time, make sure to end your work day at a reasonable time. This will help you to avoid working late into the night and not getting enough rest. 

Create a Dedicated Work Space That’s Separate from Your Living Space as Much as Possible

When you work from home, it can be tempting to sit down on the couch or your bed and get to work. However, this is not ideal; it can lead to poorer productivity and more aches and pains. That’s because when you work in an uncomfortable position, your body constantly tries to adjust, which takes away from your focus.

 Instead, create a dedicated workspace that’s as separate from your living space as possible. This could be a spare bedroom, a corner of the kitchen table, or even just a designated spot on the couch. The important thing is that it’s comfortable and conducive to getting work done.

Get Up and Move Around Regularly

When you work from home, it can be easy to get caught up in your work and sit at your desk for hours on end. However, it’s important to take breaks and move around regularly to stay healthy. Not only does this help improve your circulation and prevent stiffness, but it also allows you to stretch and do some light exercises. In addition, moving around will increase your energy levels and keep you from getting too sleepy. 

So make sure to take a few minutes every hour or so to get up and move around. Even if you just step out into your backyard for a few minutes, the fresh air and vitamin D will do wonders for your energy levels and mood. And your body will thank you for it!

These tips, combined with eating healthy meals and staying hydrated, will help you stay healthy while working remotely at home. After all, when you feel your best, you’ll be able to work at your best.

Were You Hurt While Working Remotely?

Whether it’s due to sitting in an uncomfortable position for hours on end or tripping over cords and equipment, there are several ways that people can get injured while working from home. 

If you’ve been hurt while working remotely, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The attorneys at the Law Office of James M. Hoffman can help you determine if you are entitled to benefits and, if so, successfully navigate the workers’ compensation system. We have years of experience representing clients in workers’ compensation cases and know how to get results.

Free Workers’ Compensation Consultations

Our legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation they need. Based in St. Louis, and handling workers’ compensation and personal injury cases throughout the State of Missouri, our law firm will ensure that your rights are protected. Call (314) 361-4300 or contact us online. All communications are returned promptly.

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Updated: December 7, 2022