Workers’ Compensation in the Time of COVID-19

Dec 13, 2020

Workers’ Compensation

The year 2020 has been a challenging one. That is very much an understatement. How we work, where we work, and when we work has changed, possibly forever. Our employees have had to deal with ever-changing new workplace conditions and rules. 

Many employees have been working at home since the beginning of the pandemic; others are social distancing while at the office full- or part-time. Whatever your company’s new or temporary workplace rules are, it is important for you to understand your insurance coverage. That is especially true for your workers’ compensation. Do you know how COVID-19 affects the way you do business? 

Workers’ compensation works differently during a pandemic.

The recent Senate Bill 1159 in California was passed making it mandatory for any employer to file a claim for any and all work-related injuries or illnesses. This extends to work-related events like holiday parties. If an employee gets injured there, it is considered a claim. When an employee contracts an illness like COVID-19 due to exposure at work or during a work-related event, a workers’ compensation claim needs to be filed. 

Senate Bill 1159

Senate Bill 1159 requires that California employers report any COVID-19 cases among their employees. This is true no matter where they work, which could be at the workplace or at home. Non-reporting could lead to the employer getting a $10,000 fine. This bill encompasses all operations conducted by your business, and especially decisions impacting the safety of your employees. 

Returning your business operations back to pre-COVID-19 conditions should also be considered from the workers’ compensation standpoint. It is important that business owners review their safety plan to assure it also covers pandemic-related precautions. Understanding all county, state, and federal regulations as they relate to your business and employees is a must. It is an important part of risk management.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, using the information provided will help business owners to mitigate their risk. Revenue and cash flow may be scarce during this time for businesses, especially small businesses. Any additional risk that can result in high payouts and fines can jeopardize the health of your business. Make sure you have an agent you can trust. Your agent can help assess your risk and problem solve with you to offer the best possible product.

Contact Debra Roak at debra@roakinsuranceagency.com for another set of eyes on your policy.

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