Because independent contractors don’t qualify for workers’ comp, many residents in Minnesota assume that remote employees also don’t qualify. However, you don’t give up your rights to workers’ comp by working from home as an employee.
Don’t multi-task during work
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, you have to prove that your job is responsible for your injuries. If you hurt yourself while working at home, you could receive workers’ comp benefits as long as you weren’t doing household tasks at the same time. You need to focus on your work during work hours. Also, be sure to stay in your home office unless you need to use the bathroom or get something to eat because it’s more difficult to claim workers’ comp if your injury happened in another room. Employers are responsible for ensuring you have an ergonomic and safe workspace at home, but you’re still in charge of keeping the rest of your home safe.
Workers’ compensation laws in Minnesota recognize ergonomic injuries. If your employer didn’t provide ergonomic equipment for you to use at home, then you may be able to claim workers’ comp for ergonomic injuries. Employers should also give remote workers an overview of safety tips for working safely at home. Repetitive stress injuries can occur to the back, wrist, hands, elbows, shoulders, neck and knees.
It’s not just desk jobs that can cause repetitive stress injuries. Any task the involves repetitive motions could cause this type of injury. Construction work and cutting are examples of tasks that can cause repetitive stress. Your employer should allow you at least two 10-minute breaks and one lunch break each workday. Remember to take your breaks to avoid injuries.
Remote employees could receive workers’ compensation for work injuries that happen during their work hours just as they would at their employer’s building. If you have any questions about filing for workers’ comp, you can consult with a lawyer.