Should You Call It “Commuting” if You Work From Home? One Court Thinks So
When the pandemic hit I was one of the lucky ones that were able to not only keep their job but do so while being at home with my kids. ("Lucky" isn't how I would always describe it but for arguments sake let's pretend my mental health didn't suffer as a result)
I drive 50 minutes to work each day so being able to walk down my steps into my basement was not only an enjoyable reprieve from the every day stressers (is my cute name for them) but saved a ton of money on gas & upkeep on the vehicle.
One thing I didn't do was call it a "commute". I got dressed every day just as normal. Poured a cup of coffee and "went to work". Turns out I should've been calling it a commute.
A court in Germany may have just re-defined what it means to "commute."
Apparently a guy got out of bed and walked down his steps to work in his home office. He ended up tripping down the stairs and breaking his back. He filed an insurance claim through work that said he was technically "commuting." And the court AGREED.
There are laws in the U.S. that already allow for worker's comp if you're injured while working from home. But here's the weird part: The court in Germany ruled it only applied because he was on his way to his desk for the first time that day. If he'd stopped at his desk . . . then gone to his kitchen to grab breakfast, and fell while doing THAT . . . it might not count.