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Posted in workers compensation on July 11, 2022
The total number of individuals working remotely has significantly increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the number of cases has subsided, many companies still offer their workers the option of working from home. However, what happens if you sustain an on-the-job injury while working remotely?
Here, we want to discuss the implications of remote work and injuries, particularly focusing on whether or not an individual is an employee or an independent contractor.
Just about every employer in the state of Arizona is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for each employee on their payroll. There are very few exceptions to this. Even if a person works remotely and not at a physical location for an employer, so long as they are an actual employee, they should be able to receive compensation if they sustain a job-related injury.
There are a variety of types of injuries individuals can sustain when they work remotely. Just because a person does remote work does not mean that they are free from harm. Some of the most common types of work-from-home injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries, which are certainly covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This can also include eye strain, falls in a home office, mental health-related illnesses, and more.
When an individual has a successful work injury claim caused by and on the job injury while remotely working, they should be able to recover various types of compensation. This includes complete coverage of all medical expenses related to the injury as well as a significant portion of lost wages if the worker is unable to perform their job duties while they recover from their injury.
In many cases, individuals who work remotely are classified as independent contractors or freelancers. Over the last decade, the freelance industry has exploded, and many Arizonans who work from home are indeed independent contractors for a company or other individuals.
In most situations, independent contractors or freelancers will not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance in Arizona. If an independent contractor or freelancer sustains a work-related injury, they will be responsible for paying their own medical bills. Additionally, they will not be able to recover insurance for any lost wages if they are unable to perform job-related duties while they recover.
There are times when employers purposely misclassify individuals who should be employees as independent contractors. They do this in order to avoid paying various types of benefits, including health insurance, overtime pay, and workers’ compensation insurance. Misclassifying employees on purpose is illegal, and if you think you have been misclassified, you need to speak with state regulators so they can investigate the situation.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained a work-related injury while working from home or remotely, you need to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Phoenix can investigate every aspect of your claim, help you complete the filing process on time, and handle any appeals necessary to ensure that you recover compensation for your injuries.