Our workers' compensation teams are here to assist you
Our workers' compensation teams are here to assist you
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COVID-19 Response Team:

Workers' Compensation

Work From Home Injuries


May 29, 2020
Our COVID-19 Response Team examines each jurisdiction where we have offices and discusses the implications of the pandemic on work from home injuries.  
Please click on the links for more information about each state below:
Connecticut
Key Takeaways:
  1. Three prong test promulgated in Labadie v. Norwalk Rehabilitation Services
  2. The determination of whether an injury was sustained in the course of employment is a fact driven exercise
  3. Commissioners may find stay home orders during the pandemic fall under “special employment circumstances”
To view the complete PDF, please click here
Learn More About our Connecticut Workers' Compensation Team Below:
Robert S. Bystrowski
Partner
Charlene M. Russo
Partner
Katherine M. DuBaldo
Associate
Massachusetts
Key Takeaways:
  1. Injuries while working at home are compensable in Massachusetts; there is specific case law allowing compensability
  2. Specific claims will require consideration of all of the surrounding facts
  3. While it is the employee's burden to prove compensability, evidentiary issues will to a large extent favor the employee (i.e., witnesses are likely to be family members and, thus, biased spousal evidentiary privileges may apply, work time may not be effectively traced, etc.)
To view the complete PDF, please click here
Learn More About our Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Team Below:
John F. Burke, Jr.
Partner
John C. White
 Partner
Austin T. Powell
Partner
Meredith P. Rainey
Partner
New Hampshire
Key Takeaways:
  1. With the home and the workplace now one-in-the-same for many employees, the facts involved in an at-home injury must be carefully examined to determine whether that injury actually arose out of and in the course of employment
  2. Like many other jurisdictions, New Hampshire has established a “going and coming rule”, which forbids an employee from receiving compensation for injuries that occur while the employee is going to or coming from work
  3. Special attention must be paid to the activity being completed by the employee at the time of the injury, whether the activity was related to the employment, and if the risk for injury from that activity was created by the employment rather than a general at-home risk
To view the complete PDF, please click here
Learn More About our New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Team Below:
William N. Smart
Partner
Justin R. Veiga
Associate

New Jersey


Key Takeaways:
  1. Injuries sustained by an employee working from home may be compensable under New Jersey law
  2. If an employee working from home is injured at home while performing an errand, such as preparing lunch or making a personal call, or taking a coffee or smoke break, that employee could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits pursuant to the New Jersey Minor Deviation Rule
  3. If an employee claims an injury sustained while working from home, an investigation should be conducted with regard to the circumstances, including whether the employee had any set work hours and whether the employee had a regular workspace at home
To view the complete PDF, please click here
Learn More About our New York Workers' Compensation Team Below:
Christopher E. Martin
Partner
Jeffrey R. Swanson
Of Counsel

New York


Key Takeaways:
  1. It is necessary for work, and not merely a personal convenience, to work from home, and claimant has done so on such a regular basis that the residence is actually an extension of the employer’s premises
  2. Claimant has work-related equipment in the home that has actually been provided by or purchased by the employer; and
  3. Claimant is actually engaged in work-related duties at the time of the accident
To view the complete PDF, please click here
Learn More About our New York Workers' Compensation Team Below:
David H. Allweiss
Associate

Rhode Island


Key Takeaways:
  1. Rhode Island is an actual risk state – meaning simply the injured worker must show the injury arose from an actual risk of the employment and not some risk that everyone encounters daily
  2. Work from home injuries during COVID-19 will be very hard to defend
  3. Even if the person had gone downstairs to check on their kids, the court may find that given the circumstances the employee was in a place the employer would reasonably expect them to be and working while caring for kids is in the best interest of employers because if not, the employee would not be able to work as all kids are ordered home and daycares are closed
To view the complete PDF, please click here
Learn More About our Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Team Below:
Michael F. Edwards
Partner
Joelle M. Hays
Partner
Andrew P. Hogan
Associate
This mailing and its contents have been updated as of May 29, 2020 with regard to the ever-evolving subject matter. Please also note that this newsletter is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. 
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