Emerging Workers' Compensation Trends during COVID-19 Pandemic

HR Tech Outlook | Friday, January 22, 2021

Many employers have had to make a wide variety of organizational changes as the coronavirus pandemic persists, such as moving abroad, modifying the duties of workers, introducing lay-offs, or temporarily suspending activities.

Fremont, CA: In most states, not only is workers’ compensation coverage needed, but it also plays a major role in getting injured staff the treatment they need to return to work as soon and safely as possible. That’s why the implementation of an effective workers’ compensation policy is essential for your company.

It is necessary to keep up to date with the latest developments in compensation for employees to ensure an effective program. In doing so, the company would have the knowledge required to react correctly and make changes to any relevant employees’ compensation program.

Many employers have had to make a wide variety of organizational changes as the coronavirus pandemic persists, such as moving abroad, modifying workers’ duties, introducing lay-offs or furloughs, or temporarily suspending activities.

Based on the jurisdiction you are in, these changes may be subject to reporting changes of compensation-related to different employees and possibly impact the premium costs and experience alteration factor of your company. This is because the risks and safety exposures in the workplace have undoubtedly changed due to such modifications. For additional, state-specific guidelines on the effect of such changes, be sure to contact legal counsel.

Your company should also plan for COVID-19 exposure-related workers’ compensation claims. Remember that each claim is unique. You’ll need to examine what duties or activities an individual performed when subjected to COVID-19 when it comes to compensation. Also, states are going to have varying requirements for reimbursement for COVID-19. Some states may have more general language in their laws about occupational illnesses, contagious and infectious diseases, whereas others have provided detailed guidelines on claims for COVID-19.

In particular, several states have adopted regulations and released executive orders that extend the scope of workers’ compensation for some employees. New rules concerning COVID-19 presumptions have been established by some states. Be sure to watch the developments in your particular state regarding the relationship between cases of COVID-19 and claims for workers’ compensation.

To help protect your workers from COVID-19 exposure and limit the possibility of related lawsuits, it is critical for your company to enforce occupational health and safety initiatives. In addition, review guidance from the compensation board of your state employees and talk to an insurance agent to learn more about how your coverage can or may not respond to claims for COVID-19.

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