A man has won workplace injury compensation from his German employer after he slipped and injured himself during his morning commute. And yes, by ‘commute’ we do mean the few metres he walked from his snooze chambers to his home office.
In what might be one of the most bizarre workers’ rights wins of the 21st century, The Guardian has reported on a German court’s decision which may affect how work-from-home injuries are assessed in the future.
The claimant broke his back on a spiral staircase connecting two floors in his house. After the incident, he approached his employer for an insurance payout to cover the costs associated with the injury, and the buggers flatly refused him.
The man then took his employer to court and ended up winning in turned out to be a first of its kind case.
As in common in many legal cases, the verdict was decided on the interpretation of the existing laws, since apparently nobody has prioritized litigating the finer points of what could be classified as ‘work-from-home oopsies’.
The court substantiated their ruling by stating that for the purposes of insurance claims, there is no difference between working from home or in the company office:
“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.”
It’s been a big few for workers’ movements in Australia too.
Earlier this week PEDESTRIAN.TV reported on the NSW teachers and transport worker strikes where thousands walked off the job to lobby for better conditions and more pay for their hours.
Meanwhile Australian supermarket giant Coles was accused of underpaying its workers $115 million dollars by the Fair Work Ombudsman. That’s a severely broken number but the positive takeaway is that Coles might actually be required to fork out all the stolen wages.
As Karl Marx always said “power to the people, but be careful going down stairs”.
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