Working From Home During COVID-19
The COVID-19 Coronavirus has come as a shock to the world. Our hearts go out to you and your families. Employees are uncertain about the status of their job security due to the ever-growing pandemic occurring. Employers are scrambling to ensure their day-to-day operations continue. If you are lucky enough, your employer may have set you up with a computer at home. At a minimum, your employer may have given you some capability to work remotely from the comfort of your home. There are many challenges to working at home including but not limited to: tricky wires, children running around the house, and objects on the floor of your home. Contact the experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at LaBovick Law Group if you’re injured while working from home.
WORKING FROM HOME AND FLORIDA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS
Florida Workers’ Compensation benefits are most likely due and owing for employees who are instructed that they must work from home due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. This virus has completely changed the way we live our lives on a daily basis. Floridians and people across the United States are attempting to limit their interaction with the public as much as they can. Because of social distancing, our employers are telling us to work from home to help reduce the likelihood of spreading or contracting the coronavirus.
COMMON QUESTIONS WE GET:
- Is an injured worker entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefit if forced to work from home?
- What do I need to do after an accident that occurs at home while I’m working?
- How do I report the accident if I’m working from home?
TRIP AND FALLS AND INJURIES WHILE WORKING FROM HOME
As an example, if you have the unfortunate experience of tripping over a computer wire while standing up to grab some water, you will be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits including but not limited to medical treatment and lost wages. The very fact that you were told to work from home leads to the conclusion that the employer had control over your work while you were at home. The workplace is now your home versus the traditional setup in your company’s office. All of the same rules apply. If you’re injured within the course and scope of your employment, while you’re working, medical and lost wage benefits are due and owing. Do not let your company convince you otherwise.
The same holds true if you tripped and fell in your kitchen to grab a glass of water. Your household became the place of employment once your employer told you to stay home to reduce the spread. A simple glass of water while in the course and scope of employment does not signal that you’re deviating from your work. Another example would be if your puppy runs under your legs and forces you to fall at your home desk – this will also most likely lead to the Workers’ Compensation insurer setting you up with medical treatment.
If your employer gives you the option of staying “in-office” or working from home, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits while operating at your house. Generally, it comes down to the degree of control exerted by the employer, and whether or not you were engaged in work while at your home at the time of the accident. If you’re a traveling salesman who is permitted to go to local stores to sell a product, you will most likely qualify for Florida Workers’ Compensation benefits if you trip and fall while on the way to your car, to retrieve your business cards. Why? Because you were contemplating work at the time of your accident. Retrieving your business cards to bring to a store is certainly considered “furthering the business,” or simply working in the course and scope.
WHAT DO I DO IF I’M INJURED AT HOME?
- CALL the experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at LaBovick Law Group. We are here to discuss the injury and accident with you. We do not charge ANYTHING for an initial consultation. It’s absolutely free. You have nothing to lose.
- SAY NO to a recorded or sworn statement. Call us first! You do not want a tricky adjuster convincing you to drop the claim.
- REPORT the accident within 30 days to your employer. If you are currently at home, we suggest emailing your supervisor in addition to calling. Keep a paper trail so your employer cannot use a “notice defense.” Your email correspondence will go a long way in defeating defenses the employer may utilize later on down the road.
- FILL OUT an injury report. This can be done by phone. Due to COVID-19, your employer should be able to fill out the report and ask that you sign it electronically. Documenting your employment file is very helpful!
- REFUSE to sign any documents unless you know what you’re signing doesn’t pertain to Workers’ Compensation or your accident. Keep it simple-refuse to sign prior to discussing the document with the experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at LaBovick Law Group. You do not want to waive any important rights you have.
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH. We are here to help. We will make sure you get the medical benefits and lost wages you need in a troubling time. The Workers’ Compensation system is still operating despite COVID-19. Let us fight for your rights under the Florida Workers’ Compensation system.
If you are injured while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to always call the experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at LaBovick Law Group. We’re ready, willing and able to take your call and guide you along the process. Our law practice continues business as usual. Our services are FREE of charge, and our initial consultations are free as well. We work strictly on a contingency basis. We have the experience and know-how to maximize justice in connection with the law. We know that COVID-19 has caused distress and panic throughout the sunshine state. Do not delay. Give us a call to discuss your workers’ compensation case.