|Premises liability is a major issue currently in workers' compensation claims as people "work at home." The change by created by eliminating a commute also changes the pattern of risk. While the coming and going rule may be avoided there are other distractions at home that create new issues challenging compensability. Today's post is shared from thelegalintelligencer.com|
A day at work isn't always just a day at the office. Attorneys in workers' compensation practice know that all too well. And as technological advances allow more workers to telecommute and correspond on work matters from outside of the office, the conditions surrounding compensable incidents are increasingly complicated.
"The ability of an employer to maintain access to an employee and the ability of an employer to give instructions to an employee remotely have increased," said Edward Neyhart, of the Law Offices of Byrne, Neyhart & Higgins. "As people work remotely more and more and people are engaging in various activities and mobile technology allows people greater access to travel and working away from the office setting, it becomes a much more important issue."
Neyhart said he has been inundated with workers' compensation cases this year, many borne out of a constant connection to the office.
"[These cases] are just the beginning of the pattern of litigation that is going to have to work its way up to the appellate courts," he said. "Employers and insurance companies have to adapt to the changing status of liability."
According to a 2010 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 24 percent of workers telecommute, meaning they work from home for at least some of their hours each week. That can blur the lines on compensable injuries, especially for those who only work from home sometimes.
"It puts them in the...