Workers Compensation Updates for COVID-19

Categories: Business Tips, COVID19 Latest News   |  

On Friday, July 24 Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order to make Workers’ Compensation more easily accessible to those working on the front lines during the peak of COVID-19 in our state, and missed work due to injury caused by the virus.

This order, while important for affected individuals, may also have a substantial impact on small business owners as well. We have summarized the key details below:

What small businesses need to know:

  1. Employees will be eligible to submit a claim for reimbursement if they missed a day or more of work between March 10, 2020 and May 20, 2020, inclusive, due to a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or due to symptoms that were diagnosed and confirmed as COVID-19, contracted COVID-19 as an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment
  2. Any benefits which an employee receives from Connecticut’s Workers Compensation Act will be reduced by the amount of any paid sick leave available through the Emergency Paid Sick Leave of the Families First Coronavirus Act or any other paid sick leave program specific to COVID-19, separate from any accrued paid time off available as part of their employment.
  3. Employers may argue the employee did not contract COVID-19 in the course of employment, but would have to provide abundant (preponderant) evidence to a workers’ compensation commissioner of this.
  4. The date of the injury must be between March 10 and May 20, meaning the employee was first unable to work or died due to a diagnosed case of COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, whichever happened first.
  5. Beginning on August 1, 2020, the Workers’ Compensation Commission will produce a report each month on COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims. Employers are required to comply with these requests.
  6. If an employee contracts COVID-19 but not within the dates above, they are not prohibited from submitting a claim.
  7. Employers are prohibited from disciplining, firing, or discriminating in any way against any employee who submits a workers’ compensation claim, AND from intentionally misinforming or disuasing an employee from filing a claim. Employees subject to any of this may bring civil action or file a complaint with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

If you have questions about what this could mean for your small business, contact an advisor today.

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