Below please find an update of information about workers’ compensation issues in connection with COVID-19 considerations.
The Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“Bureau”) has provided important guidance regarding filing options and claims for employees alleging exposure to COVID-19 via the workplace.
The Bureau currently suggests two possible filing options for employees pursuant to COVID-19 exposure:
- Option 1: An employee can file a typical “disease-as-injury” workers’ compensation claim, which would require the employee to provide medical evidence that they were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. Employees must provide this type of evidence for all injury-related claims.
- Option 2: An employee could file an “occupational disease” workers’ compensation claim, which would require showing that COVID-19 is occurring more in the employee’s industry or occupation than in the general population, such as in the healthcare industry.
The occurrence of the above-referenced filings, or claims made, like any Workers’ Compensation claim, whether alleged or by employee notification of workplace injury, should trigger an urgency for employers in following-up with their insurance carriers and/or seeking out legal counsel as to next steps in the claims process.
With current workplace shifts to telecommuting, our firm recommends that you notify your insurance broker that employees are working remotely from home for proper coverage assessments.
Importantly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has provided detailed guidance for employers and businesses regarding COVID-19 issues, including prevention and planning considerations and what employers can do now, located at the following website:
Pennsylvania’s Department of Health offers COVID-19 data and resources at the following website:
Our firm is available at any time to discuss concerns you may have in connection with the above-referenced issues. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.
McKENNA SNYDER LLC