Many workers have transitioned to a work-from-home or hybrid work arrangement in recent years. As a result, the home can increasingly be the site of work-related injuries. A new bill in Ohio would limit workers’ compensation for injuries that occur in these work-from-home arrangements. What should workers know about this bill and their access to compensation?
What is Ohio House Bill 447?
Ohio House Bill 447 (H.B. 447) is a proposed bill currently under consideration in Ohio. This legislation would allow workers’ compensation benefits coverage for injured remote workers under specific circumstances. Currently, this bill only includes injuries that meet all of the following criteria:
- The injured person’s employment led to the injury or condition
- The injury or condition resulted from a “special hazard” related to job duties
- The injury or condition occurred as the result of an activity that specifically benefitted the employer
Under this proposed legislation, workers’ compensation benefits would cover some injuries for remote workers but not others. For example, an employee that trips at home might not receive benefits for injuries related to that fall because the employer does not have control over that hazard. However, an employee may receive benefits if their injury occurs due to employer-provided equipment.
This bill was passed in the Ohio House of Representatives in February of 2022. The Ohio State Senate has since referred H.B. 447 to a committee.
The legal landscape for workers is constantly changing, and your access to workers’ compensation depends on various factors. As a result, you may want to seek guidance when considering whether your injury or disability qualifies for these benefits.