Man Can Claim Workers’ Comp for Injuring Himself on Walk From Bedroom to Home Office, Court Rules

A German court ruled that a man who slipped while walking to his home office from his bedroom can claim workers' comp since he was technically commuting.

Photograph of a laptop in home office

Image via Getty/Future Publishing

Photograph of a laptop in home office

A German man can claim workers’ compensation after slipping on his way from his bedroom to his home office.

The Guardianreports that a court in Germany ruled the man’s walk to his home office—consisting of “a few meters”—counts as him commuting. The man’s home office is located on the floor beneath his bedroom, and the levels are connected by a spiral staircase. He apparently fell and broke his back, and his employer’s insurance denied him coverage.

Court documents noted that the man’s walk was his first of the day before he had breakfast, which later became more important as the higher federal social court explained that “the first morning journey from bed to the home office [was] an insured work route.” 

That means the situation counts toward accident insurance since it was his “first” trip to work—meaning he couldn’t claim workers’ comp if he had walked to his office after eating. The German court continued, “The plaintiff suffered an accident at work when he fell on the way to his home office in the morning.”

“If the insured activity is carried out in the household of the insured person or at another location, insurance cover is provided to the same extent as when the activity is carried out at the company premises.” The court pointed out that the law pertained to teleworking jobs, or “computer workstations that are permanently set up by the employer in the private area of ​​the employees.”

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