One year ago, our California residents were ordered by the governor to shelter in place to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, which resulted in businesses being shuttered throughout the state, and quickly transitioning employees to remote work.
With the first quarter of 2021 ending, some companies say their workers will telecommute through the summer of 2021 — and perhaps for longer.
At Hanning & Sacchetto, our Glendora workers’ compensation attorneys focus on how employees are entitled to our state’s workers’ compensation benefits for any injury or illness sustained during the course of their employment, whether they work from home, in an office, warehouse, or another designated workplace.
If you are working from home, or transitioning back into the workplace part time, our California workers compensation laws still apply to you.
Do Our California Workers’ Compensation Laws Apply to At-Home Work Injuries?
Yes. However, several factors must be examined when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
First, at-home employees typically have the burden of proving that the injury is work-related.
At the time the injury occurred, the employee must show they were acting in the interest of the employer to successfully claim workers’ compensation benefits.
The positive news for at-home workers is an employer’s lack of control over the conditions of at-home work premises is irrelevant to the courts.
California employers are responsible for providing the same safe work environment for telecommuters, or at-home employees, as for employees who work on company property.
Since the latter has been practically impossible since the Coronavirus spread across the country one year ago, it has been interpreted that the risks an employee encounters when performing work at home are also hazards of their employment, when an employee’s home is also an employee’s work premises.
Healthful and Safe Work Environments Apply to Home Offices in California
California law requires employers to provide a healthful and safe work environment, which includes when employees are working from home.
Fundamentally, when employees are operating in a fixed place of business — in a manner authorized by the employers — the injuries suffered by employees while performing their regular work duties are generally always considered injuries sustained during the course of the employment, which makes them eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have been injured while working from home and would like to explore your California workers’ compensation rights and options, contact our experienced Whittier workers’ compensation attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP today by calling (562) 698-6446 to learn how we can pursue the benefits you are entitled to, so you can obtain the financial resources you need to return to the quality of life you enjoyed before your injuries occurred.