New Jersey’s worker’s compensation system is designed to help workers who have been injured on the job. Often, this means injuries that occur at a workplace, like a factory or another place of business. However, workers’ compensation benefits can help workers who were injured anywhere, so long as the injury occurred in the course of their employment. For instance, a truck driver who is injured while driving a route should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
As many New Jersey workers had to adapt to working from home over the past year, some have been forced to confront a question they may never have thought about: Does workers’ compensation cover injuries that occur when the employee is working from home?
The answer should be yes, but it isn’t always simple.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that the worker doesn’t have to prove that the employer did anything wrong, just that the injury happened on the job. After they report the injury, their employer’s insurance company should pay benefits that will cover their medical and rehabilitative costs, and help them with the loss of income while they are unable to work.
New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law covers nearly all employers in the state, and requires them to carry insurance for their employees.
Here’s where the complications come in for those who are working from home: Employers have telecommuting policies, and their insurers may have telecommuting policies of their own. Ordinarily, workers who want to transition to telecommuting can read these policies and make an informed choice. Over the past year however, many workers had to make a sudden shift to working from home.
As a result, some workers may face unforeseen difficulties in getting the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits they need. It’s important for injured employees to discuss their legal options with a workers’ compensation attorney.