Workers’ Compensation for Remote Workers in Colorado
People throughout Denver and across Colorado have increasingly shifted to remote work arrangements in recent years, thanks mainly to the pandemic. That includes both Coloradans whose offices have been closed and people moving to our state due to the newfound freedom that comes with being able to do your job from anywhere. It is important to understand that remote workers in Colorado have all of the same rights and protections as employees who do their jobs from offices or more traditional workplaces. That includes the right to workers’ compensation benefits when they are injured or contract an illness in the course of their jobs. If you telecommute and you are injured in a job-related accident, turn to our experienced attorneys for remote workers.
Remote Work in Colorado
Colorado has been a leading state for remote work since the beginning of the pandemic.
Although a state compensation disclosure law has spurred some employers to look elsewhere for workers, many local businesses continue to take a flexible approach to where people do their jobs.
According to one study, just less than 9 percent of workers in the state do their jobs remotely. Denver is the most popular location for telecommuters, with more than 8 percent of workers clocking in from outside a traditional office setting.
When Can Remote Workers in Colorado Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Colorado workers’ compensation benefits primarily consist of medical benefits for treatment related to the injury or illness and payments for missed wages while the person is unable to work. The total amount and duration of those benefits vary based on the nature of the injury and its impact on the person’s ability to return to the job or other employment.
Although there are a number of requirements related to seeking those benefits, the main hurdle is that an injured worker must be able to show that his or her injury happened on the job and in the course of his or her regular work activities. In other words, you must demonstrate that the injury is not the result of a pre-existing condition or an accident that happened outside of work.
That can raise complicated legal questions in remote work situations, where the line between work and home is often blurred. For example, what happens if a person who is working from home is injured in a slip and fall while walking to the mailbox during work hours? What if the accident occurs at a coffee shop while the person is taking a break?
It is vital that anyone facing these questions seek the assistance of an experienced workplace injury attorney. A workers’ compensation lawyer at Levine Law can help you understand your rights and build the strongest possible claim for benefits.
Why You Need to Understand Your Employer’s Remote Work Policy
Anyone working remotely in Colorado should be familiar with his or her employer’s written policy on telecommuting. These policies often set certain guidelines, which can come into play in determining whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured or contract an illness.
Some employers develop specific remote work policies – or require remote workers to sign written agreements – that describe where employees will work, what duties will be performed remotely and what is otherwise expected.
These policies or agreements may restrict what is considered a “home office.” That can be crucial in workers’ compensation cases because an employer or its insurer may argue that accidents occurring outside of these defined settings are not eligible for benefits.
Remote work policies and agreements may also set fixed hours and break times for employees who telecommute. If a worker is injured outside of these defined hours, the employer is likely to take the position that he or she is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Some employers who initially set standard hours for remote workers later request – or make clear they expect – those employees to log additional hours on the job, further complicating the situation.
If You Telecommute and Suffer a Work Injury, Turn to Levine Law Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on the job in Colorado, an experienced Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer can help you take action to maximize your benefits.
Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to serve clients throughout Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.