Individuals in South Carolina who work from home may wonder how workers’ compensation laws apply to them. As the numbers of workers who telecommute either full-time or part-time has grown over the years, this is becoming an area of increasing concern with a number of challenges for companies that do not have the same amount of control over the worker’s home office environment as they do in the workplace.
On the other hand, experts point out that workers are most likely to be injured on the commute to and from work, and working at home eliminates this possibility. Furthermore, workers who can be trusted to behave safely in the workplace can generally be relied upon to be safe at home as well.
However, there have been significant worker victories in compensation cases that occurred at the residences of at-home workers. An interior decorator who tripped and fell while on her way to retrieve samples in her home had her workers’ compensation denial overturned by the Court of Appeals in Oregon. The Utah Labor Commission approved compensation for a man in 2000 that became a quadriplegic after falling on the ice while salting his driveway in preparation for a work-related delivery.
Individuals who work at home may be eligible for workers’ compensation even if their injuries are minor. Workers have a right to compensation for injuries sustained on the job, and an injury that seems minor can lead to more significant problems later. At-home workers may want to discuss procedures around on-the-job injury with their employers, and if they do sustain an injury, they may wish to work with an attorney during the process of applying for workers’ compensation. However, each situation is unique, and this blog should not be considered legal advice.