Ohio Bill Defines Work-From-Home Workers’ Comp Rule

By | August 10, 2022

An Ohio law set to go into effect next month amends workers’ compensation benefit requirements for employees who sustain an injury while working from home.

House Bill 447 states than a work-from-home employee’s injury is compensable under Ohio’s workers’ compensation system only if the injury arises out of the employee’s employment; was caused by a special hazard of the employee’s employment activity; or is sustained in the course of an activity undertaken by the employee for the exclusive benefit of the employer.

The bill restricts the definition of injury for employees who work from home. Previously, a remote worker’s injury was compensable as long as it was it sustained in the course of, and arising out of their employment.

Philip Fulton, a Columbus-based injured workers attorney, consulted with the Ohio House Chamber to craft the legislation. He said the bill is meant to codify the limitations of work-from-home injury claims.

“The concern was, let’s say I have an office at home and I have my desk and I trip over my chair. That’s obviously a special hazard of my employment activity,” said Fulton. “Versus I go downstairs to feed my dog and I trip over the kitchen table. Obviously, that would disqualify me here. I don’t think they were trying to be tricky with with us at all.”

Fulton said he has not seen any claims from work-from-home employees.

“Now at least it’s in the statute and I have a blueprint of what I need to prove for a claim to be compensable,” said Fulton.

The bill, approved unanimously by the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine, takes effect on September 23.

Topics Workers' Compensation Ohio

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