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Can at-home employees get workers’ comp in Minnesota?

| Mar 15, 2021 | Blog, Workers' Compensation |

Employees who work from home qualify for workers’ compensation if their employer’s negligence is responsible for their injuries. Failure to provide Minnesota employees with a safe, ergonomic environment whether they work at the office or at home is negligence. They must respect the employee’s right to two 10-minute breaks and a lunch hour as well.

Not all injuries qualify

You can already guess that you can’t receive workers’ compensation when your injury occurred outside of work hours. However, what many don’t realize is injuries during your lunch hours and breaks also don’t qualify for workers’ comp in Minnesota. Likewise, if you are horsing around, you are responsible for those injuries.

If you’re going to the bathroom or taking a short break to get water, you might receive workers’ compensation for an injury. In a previous Minnesota case, a judge ruled that the employee could receive workers’ comp for an injury they got falling down the stairs on their way to get coffee. The reason they were getting coffee is because technical difficulties interrupted their workflow.

Ergonomic injuries

When an employer doesn’t ensure you have an ergonomic setup at home for working, you may receive workers’ compensation for ergonomic injuries like carpal tunnel, tendonitis and neck and back conditions. Employers should give remote workers a safety policy for working at home that covers maintaining an ergonomic setup. They must also allow you to take the same breaks you would take at the office to prevent this type of injury. Even when you have your workspace set up in a way that’s easier on your body, you can still sustain repetitive strain injuries from not taking breaks.

Employed remote workers in Minnesota can receive workers’ compensation just as they would if they were working in the office. Their employers remain responsible for providing an ergonomic, safe workspace for them. Employers must teach them about preventing repetitive strain injuries and allow them to have breaks and a lunch hour.

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