I was recently contacted by a former client who is working at home during this COVID-19 crisis performing data entry, with a question which many people may be asking. I shared her question and my response to assist others in similar situations.
Q: I am remotely working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, if I get injured while working at home is it covered by workers' compensation?
A: The short answer is - Yes.
However, as you would expect, it depends on what you are doing at the time of the injury. Washing your dishes, no (unless part of your job, say as a baker, is baking from home for the employer and cleaning up the kitchen equipment used for the baking.)
For most people working from home they are doing computer based work which is more amenable to remote work locations. But this can cause it own unique work issues.
I, like many of you, have been working from home since Governor Newsom ordered on March 19, 2020, for the California public to 'stay at home.'
During the first few days working at my makeshift at home desk in our back room, I noticed I was getting pains in my shoulders and upper back. This was, in my opinion, caused by my clearly non-ergonomically correct working environment. You may be experiencing the same, and here is what you should do.
You should email your employer's human resources department and advise them of the situation. Email them pictures of your makeshift at home work station including the chair and computer set up. They may be able to make suggestions on how to change your work station to be ergonomically correct. There are even third parry companies that your employer can hire to evaluate your home work station remotely through pictures and videos to suggest changes to make it ergonomically correct.
In addition, your employer may be able to send you in the U.S. Mail, UPS or FedEx equipment to make your at home work station ergonomically better such as a chair, keyboard wrist rest pad, ergonomic keyboard or other equipment. If you symptoms persist or get worse, you may have a workers' compensation claim.
It does not matter if you are working at the office, at home or traveling and working on the road for business, so long as you are injured while performing work activities or functions for your employer you have a workers' compensation claim regardless of location.
Should you have a work injury while working at home, the Law Offices of Robert A McLaughlin are here to help you pursue your workers' compensation claim. We are available for consultation regarding your claim by telephone, Apple FaceTime, Skype, email or other means. Please feel free to reach out to our office.
About our firm
McLaughlin & Sanchez has 30 years of experience helping clients in the greater San Diego and Imperial County. We handle cases involving workers' compensation, personal injury, and employment law. Our legal team works tirelessly to meet our clients' needs. Contact us online or call 619-354-4854 if you're in need of legal help.