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In office or at home, workers’ comp applies

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in Compensation and Benefits,Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Q. Do workers' compensation laws apply if an employee is injured while working in his own home and using his own equipment? —S.S., Maryland

A. They can. Employees injured in the course and scope of their employment while working at home are entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

You can raise the question, however, of whether a particular injury is truly work-related. When an employee is working at your facility, you probably have the advantage of being able to talk to witnesses in order to determine whether an injury is work-related. When an employee works at home, that's tougher to determine.

There are several other liability issues to consider before establishing an at-home work program. Perhaps the most problematic area is ensuring that nonexempt employees are accurately paid for hours worked. Plan in advance how you will track time worked. You might limit work-at-home programs to exempt employees or, for nonexempt, specify in advance what hours are to be worked.

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