Injured While Working from Home
Injuries that occur while working from home are covered by Workers’ Compensation.
In Illinois, when you are hurt at work, or if you are injured while working from home, you are entitled to the benefits and protections of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Illinois law requires an employer to pay for all medical care and treatment, lost wages, and compensation for any permanent impairment or disability suffered by the worker. In order to be entitled to those things, one must be able to show that they were injured while working from home “in the course” of their employment and that the injury “arose out of” their employment.
The term “in the course of” one’s employment, in the most general sense is injuries occurring on the employer’s premise while performing the employer’s work during regular work hours. However, the definition of workplace and work hours is changing.
We are now in an era of more employees working from home then ever before and still more contemplating such a change. For those people who are working from home, and who are injured, how do we determine if they are injured “in the course of” their employment and “arising out of” their employment.
Many of the criteria for the commuter are exactly the same as those for the home worker. For example, did the injury occur during those hours that your employer would have reasonably anticipated you to be working? Can you show that you were engaged in meaningful work for the employer just prior to the injury occurring? Did the injury occur while performing a task for the employer?
Still further, can you establish that the injury “arose of the” employment? Was it your printer that fell on your foot and fractured it or your toaster oven? Were you injured lifting the box of files your boss shipped to you for review or the box of your favorite wine Amazon delivered?
If an injury does occur while you are working from home, and is in any way connected to your work, it is important to report the injury to someone in a supervisory position at your employer as soon as possible. To capture proof of the reporting, provide it in writing and/or by way of email. Also, when seeking medical care and treatment describe with specificity how the injury occurred and what items caused it.
Many people have either chosen to or have been asked to work from home during this pandemic. While such an arrangement can frequently benefit both employer and employee, that does not mean the employee gives up the rights and protections of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
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Contact our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys. If you have been injured while working from home call us at: (630) 585-2320 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.