COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims Grow, While Overall Claims Plummet

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While the number of COVID-19 workers’ comp cases filed in California continues to grow, total workplace injury and illness claims in the state have fallen nearly 20% so far in 2020 compared to 2019. Through September, the state had recorded 47,412 COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims, accounting for 11.1% of all claims reported since the start of the year. During that same period, California workers filed 425,280 workers’ compensation claims, down 19% from the first nine months of 2019. COVID-19 case numbers The first COVID-19 cases among California workers were filed in March. They peaked in July and started to decline…
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Cal/OSHA Conducts COVID-19 Sweeps, Proposes Huge Fines

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA COVID-19 inspections and subsequent fines have caught some employers off guard. The agency has been conducting sweeps of employers in California to root out those who are not protecting their workers from COVID-19 exposure. Cal/OSHA has targeted companies in industries that have a heightened risk of exposure to the coronavirus, which resulted in 11 citations being issued. While Cal/OSHA has been inspecting facilities since April for COVID-19-related infractions, the recent sweeps are part of a new targeted and ongoing enforcement effort that California employers should be aware of. Cal/OSHA COVID-19 inspections & fines issued For an example of what’s at…
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Raft of Bills Would Add New Coronavirus Measures

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The California Legislature is working on a number of new measures to protect workers in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures take aim at “holes” in the system that may leave employees who contract the coronavirus on the job without workers’ compensation benefits, footing higher utility bills because of working at home and needing sick leave time available to them should they contract the disease. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would work closely with legislators to help the measures become law. Below we look at the legislative moves that have gained the most traction and are supported by…
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Protecting Employees During the Pandemic

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If you are one of the companies that has been deemed an essential employer and are remaining open during stay-at-home orders, you should be doing all you can to protect employees against contracting COVID-19. While some workers are really on the front lines of fighting the disease, like health care workers and emergency services personnel, there are many other people working in factories, grocery stores, warehouse and transportation, among other industries, that are also at risk to varying degrees. The response to this has been varied. Some employers have taken steps to protect their workers. For example, some grocery stores…
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Some Insurers Step Up Group Health Plan Assistance

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Some health insurers are helping workers who would otherwise lose health insurance maintain employee benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey has found. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have put the hurt on hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country, which has forced them to reduce employees’ hours, furlough them or lay them off. Besides all those employees seeing their pay drastically curtailed or disappear altogether, it also affects their employee benefits, with health coverage topping the list. With so many people concerned they may lose coverage and business owners equally worried about their employees, some insurers are…
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Employer Guide for Dealing with the Coronavirus

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus gains momentum and potentially begins to spread in North America, employers will have to start considering what steps they can take to protect their workers while fulfilling their legal obligations. Employers are in a difficult position because it is likely that the workplace would be a significant source of transmission among people. And if you have employees in occupations that may be of higher risk of contracting the virus, you could be required to take certain measures to comply with OSHA’s General Duty Clause. On top of that, if you have workers…
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