New York hopes to have 170,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine before December 15th. According to Fox  proposed legislation may make the vaccine mandatory in the state.
At present, however, employers must do everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus.
The pandemic is still a developmental situation, so it is important to keep track of evolving local and federal guidelines. Employers should pay particular attention to OSHA's requirements for COVID-19, as well as to the possibility of workers' compensation claims. and a COVID-19 FAQ . Frequently asked questions and answers include a variety of topics, including personal protective equipment, testing, exercise, retaliation, and more. Employers should also pay attention to reporting requirements. If an employee dies after a work-related exposure to COVID-19, the employer must report the death within eight hours of finding out.
Employers are expected to take measures to protect workers from the coronavirus, and if they do not, they could face costly penalties and workers' compensation claims. On November 27, OSHA announced that it had proposed $ 3,301,932 in penalties related to COVID-19. failure to implement a written respiratory protection program; failure to provide a medical evaluation, testing of respirators, training in the proper use of respiratory protection and personal protective equipment; failure to report an injury, illness or death; failure to register an injury or illness on OSHA record keeping forms; and failure to comply with OSHA's general customs clause.
Do not assume that your workers will not be able to claim workers' compensation if they become ill. Although it can be difficult to prove where a person got a virus – and if it is work-related – the New York Workers' Compensation Board says that it is possible to get compensation for workers if a worker receives COVID -19 while working.
In New York, it depends on the details of the individual case whether or not a COVID-19 employee compensation claim is approved. If a claim is made, it will be reviewed by the employer's compensation insurance company, and if the carrier questions the claim, a judge at the Workers' Compensation Board will make a decision.
If compensation for workers is awarded, it may cover medical treatment and compensation of wages, as well as benefits for surviving relatives and compensation for funeral expenses in the event of death. According to Försäkringsförsäkring the National Council on Compensation Insurance states that the medical costs of COVID-19 workers' compensation claims have averaged $ 38,000 per claim.
Employers need to rethink the traditional holiday party. While some may switch to virtual parties, it can be so difficult to make attendance mandatory for so many people suffering from stress and zoom fatigue. A LinkedIn study showed that more than half of employees would prefer a bonus and about a third want paid leave.
As always, BNC Insurance is your risk management partner. Contact us with questions and check for ongoing COVID-19 resource information here .