Unless you or your employees work remotely, commuting to work is a fact of life.
While most people tend to commute via car, there's an increasing push for more efficient ways of getting to work. That's why you see more people using carpooling methods, bike riding and public transportation as commuting options.
While cycling to work is a great way to both help the environment and improve health, it comes with an increased risk along the commute. If your employee gets in a cycling or e-scooter accident on the way to work, they might wonder if they can claim workers' compensation benefits for their injuries.
It's a common question, and one a lot of business owners have. So we're going to share with you what you need to know about commuting and workers' comp insurance.
In the most basic sense, employers are responsible for covering any illnesses or injuries employees get from on the job work.
For example, if an employee sprains their back lifting a heavy box in the office or they slip and fall on an icy patch right at the front door, they should report their injury and make a workers' compensation claim.
It's pretty straightforward.
However, when employees are outside the office, things can feel a little bit trickier— and that especially applies to commutes. That's one reason why courts have come up with the 'Going and Coming Rule.'
This rule states that, with a few exceptions, workers' compensation benefits aren't applied to any injuries or accidents going to or from work.
So the short answer is no, in most cases, any accidents or injuries that occur while going to or coming from work are not covered by workers' comp benefits.
But there are a handful of exceptions.
As with every case, there are always exceptions to the 'Going and Coming Rule' and that's the case here in Colorado too.
As a business owner, it's important to know the instances where employees injured coming and going from work get covered by Colorado workers' comp benefits.
Traveling Between Offices
It's not uncommon for even small businesses to have multiple offices or locations. For example, you might have an office and a shipping or warehousing center in a separate location.
If that's the case, then employees who are traveling between these offices in the course of work and get injured can file a claim for workers' comp benefits.
Traveling for Work
If one of your employees is in an accident and injured while they are traveling for work, even for something local like delivering a package on a bike, they are also eligible to file a claim for benefits.
This is because they are still performing a work duty, even if it's not in the office. Now if they get injured running an errand during their lunch break on a personal matter that wouldn't count because they weren't traveling for a work purpose.
Either way, it's important for you to encourage a culture of safety both in and out of the office. Don't forget to keep your eye out for new modes of transportation too. As e-scooters have taken Colorado by storm, it's worthwhile to update your policies to include them as modes of transportation too. Any accident or injury to your employees, regardless if they occur in the course of work or outside it, is never something you want to take for granted.
Your employees are a critical part of your business, so doing everything you can to remind them of that and promote their safety is always a good thing.
Part of that is doing everything you can to protect yourself and your employees while they are at work. One way to do that is with workers' compensation insurance. As Colorado workers' comp rules require, employers must have coverage with even one in-state employee.
You can learn all the facts about the requirements for workers' compensation in Colorado here.
And in the meantime, get in touch with Cake today. You can get a workers' comp quote in just minutes online that will ensure your business is protected.