Depending on the specific facts – yes.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, stay-at-home orders and remote working have become the new reality. Workers’ Compensation benefits typically kick in when you are injured in the course and scope of employment. Although remote working has become more common in recent months, the law is pretty well settled in New Jersey.
N.J.S.A. 34:15-36 states in pertinent part that “when the employee is required to be away from the employer’s place of employment, the employee shall be deemed to be in the course of employment when the employee is engaged in the direct performance of duties assigned or directed by the employer.”
When an injury happens away from the usual place of employment, however, it is obviously harder to prove. Thus, the specific details of what happened are especially important and can make or break you having a claim. The primary factor in these cases is whether the injury is actually work-related.
If you are injured while working from home, you should get emergency medical treatment, if needed, report the injury to your employer as soon as possible, and ask your employer to authorize additional medical treatment if you need more treatment. To help support your potential claim, you should know the time of the incident and have a detailed description of what happened and what work were you in the process of doing. Also, it might be helpful to have pictures and/or witnesses that can corroborate how you were hurt. Failure to have enough information (evidence) to prove your case that you were hurt while working from home, could result in the claim being denied and you not receiving any of the benefits you may be entitled to under New Jersey law.
Feel free to contact Raff & Raff for a free consultation with our Worker’s Compensation team to determine whether you have a potential claim.
Chris Hoskey, Esq. and Michael Raff, Esq.