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    Answering Your Pandemic-Related Questions: Are Remote Workers Covered by Workers’ Comp?

    The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the world, and Pennsylvania was no exception. Fear of the virus spreading resulted in many workers no longer commuting to the office or other worksite. Instead, working remotely from home became the norm for many. Now, two years later, many workers are still working remotely, and the role workers’ compensation plays for them has become a hot topic. A Lancaster workers compensation attorney explains how coverage in these situations is determined.  

    How Coverage is Determined

    It is possible for workers to have injuries they sustained while working remotely covered under their workers’ compensation policy. However, this depends on several important factors. 

    • Is the injured party an employee, and 
    • Did the accident occur during the course of employment?

    If your answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. 

    The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act

    The Pennsylvania Workmen’s Compensation Act (Act) has been around since 1915, although there have been various amendments since that time. Pennsylvania law requires that most employers provide this coverage to employees, and coverage is for the entire period of employment. 

    Section 301(C)(1) of the Act states that an injury shall be considered “arising in the course of employment”  if “the employee is engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer, whether upon the employer’s premises or elsewhere.” This is how many remote workers are able to have injuries sustained while working remotely from home or elsewhere covered by their workers’ compensation insurance. 

    Challenges to Coverage

    The biggest hurdle an injured party will have to clear in order to have an injury sustained while working remotely covered is proof. They must be able to prove that their injury was actually sustained while they were acting in their role as an employee and while they were furthering the business of their employer. In other words, if an employee falls while walking outside to smoke a cigarette, it is likely their injury will not be covered. A Lanacaster workers’ compensation attorney will help you determine whether or not your injuries are covered.

    Example of a Covered Remote Injury

    In the case of the City of Harrisburg vs. WCAB (Gebhart) 616 A.2d 1369 (Pa. 1992), it was held that an off-duty police officer who accidentally shot himself in the leg while removing his revolver from its holster when he arrived home was eligible for benefits. It was determined that there was no place at his job site to properly store the weapon, and securing it was a necessary part of his employment. 

    A Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Remote Workers

    If you are a remote worker and you’ve been injured, or if you just have questions about your workers’ compensation benefits as a remote worker, contact a premier Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney at Vanasse Law, LLC by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.