Workers Comp for Off-Site Employees

HR Resource
August 30, 2012 — 2,865 views  
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The logistics of running a modern business can be quite complicated, and nowhere is this more evident than in understanding the ins and outs of workers compensation. Ensuring that workers injured on the job continue to receive pay has a long history, but this equation has gotten increasingly complicated as work environments have evolved. With an increase in the number of American workers telecommuting or splitting their time between home and the office - as well as the prevalence of off-site employees - the process of determining who is eligible for workers comp has become increasingly intricate.

Workers comp exclusions

Although there are several situations in which an on-the-job injury would not be covered by workers comp - such as if the injured employee is committing a felony, doing something explicitly restricted or intentionally hurting him or herself - an injury incurred off premises is not one of them.

As long as an employee is injured while doing his or her job, it does not matter whether that worker is on- or off-site. However, because there is so much room for contesting them, these situations are often detailed in advance. If an employer expects a worker to complete a significant part of his or her job away from the worksite, the employer is sometimes expected to document workers comp rules in advance.

Common inclusions

The increase in the amount of travel and off-site work has led to some common workers comp inclusions. Injuries received during travel, for example, are now commonly included in workers comp coverage. This can apply either to injuries received during transportation or at the offsite work location.

Injuries experienced during a company event are also included in most policies. Whether during a holiday party or company outing, most injuries received during any sponsored business get-together are considered on-the-job injuries. (However, because workers who are injured while they are intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol are not covered, these situations can be difficult to judge.)

Individual policies

Workers comp policies vary by state, so it is important for both employers and employees to be informed about their specific coverage. If you are a worker who often completes some or all of your job offsite, it is especially important that you review the policies regarding injuries sustained away from the office or workspace. 

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