Right now, many companies are offering work from home arrangements. When employees work on site and are injured on the job, workers’ compensation pays for needed medical expenses and some lost wages.
But what happens when the injuries occur at home?
Classification Matters for Work From Home Jobs in Miami
If you work from home, your status determines whether you qualify for workers’ compensation from your Miami job. Under Florida law, employers who have any full-time or part-time employees must pay workers’ compensation insurance for all qualified employees. In the event of a worksite accident, the insurer pays the employee medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits.
If you are an employee, whether full-time or part-time, and you work from home temporarily or permanently, you are usually covered by workers’ compensation unless you have opted out or are a domestic worker or one of the few categories of workers who are exempt from this insurance.
If, however, you are a freelancer, contractor, or run your own business, you are generally not covered by workers’ compensation. Your agreement with your client or employer should make it clear whether you have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim or not.
As both a freelancer and employee, you may also have a third-party claim if you are injured while working from home. For example, if a mobile device you are working on is defective and causes your injury, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of that item.
Workers’ Compensation Claims in Miami Can Be Complex
While employees should be covered, even when working from home, there are several things that can go wrong:
- Misclassification: Even if you are classified as a freelancer, you may have a claim if your employer has misclassified you. Florida has strict rules about what kinds of workers are freelancers and what kinds of tasks are considered the work of an employee. If your employer treats you as an employee, you may be misclassified and may be able to pursue a claim.
- Non-payment: Under Florida law, all Miami and Florida employers with eligible workers are supposed to pay for workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. This does not always happen. If your employer has not paid for the insurance they were supposed to, you may have other options for recovering damages.
- Determining work tasks: The line between work tasks and personal tasks gets fine when working from home, and to make a workers’ compensation claim your injury needs to have come from a work task. If you’re working and suffer a trip and fall injury in your home when you pause for a glass of water, for example, is that covered by workers’ compensation?
- Refusal of legitimate claims: Sometimes, even if a worker has a legitimate claim, insurers reject the application for benefits. This may be even more likely with work from home arrangements, where there are often no witnesses to an injury, where personal and work tasks are being performed, and where the rules about reporting your injury may be unclear.
For all these reasons, you may wish to work with an attorney if you have been injured on the job while working from home. Have you suffered an injury? Are you worried workers’ compensation won’t pay for medical costs, lost wages, and other losses? Wondering how much your case may be worth or even if you have a case? Call Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free, no-obligation case consultation with a Miami work from home injury claims attorney.