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How The Move to Remote Work Has Changed Worker’s Compensation

By November 9, 2020 No Comments

A new Insurance Business Magazine story highlights just how much the pandemic has changed work habits and how likely those habits are to become permanent once it’s safe to return to the office. 

The story notes a recent Global Workplace Analytics survey that reported 97% of respondents were working from home and 82% of office workers (approximately 75 US employees) wish to continue doing so even after the pandemic is over. 

How Are Newly Remote Employees Classified for Compensation?

Code 8871 of the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) Classification Codes and Statistical Codes Manual states that “a residence office is a clerical work area located within the home of the clerical employee … In the event, an employer operates a business from a residence and the employer has clerical staff at the employer’s business location residence, these clerical employees are classified to Code 8810”. 

What this means is that coverage could vary based on the exact code classification of the work and that will vary widely based on the remote employee’s work-from-home (WFH) situation. In the story, they offer an example where an employee could have been working at a standing desk in the office but now work at a home office with no standing desk, which in turn could lead to workers’ comp claims resulting from new issues. 

How This is Developing In Other States

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California will classify telecommuters under code 8871 as an employee spending “more than 50% of their time performing clerical duties from a clerical work area located within their home.” 

Alabama has not made an official ruling on the issue, but it seems that the prevalent understanding is that code 8871 will cover newly remote workers in the short-term and any injuries that could occur in the home office.

 

If you’ve been working from home and think you’ve suffered an injury as a result, you may qualify for worker’s compensation. If you applied and were denied, you should know that you may have additional options for appeal and even further action. The team at Bevill and Bevill, LLC is here to help Arkansas workers fight for their benefits. Call us today at (205) 221-4646 to learn more.