The consequences of COVID-19 are being felt by employers and employees alike. Employers are concerned with how they will keep their business afloat and employees are left to wonder how their paychecks may be impacted. The most frequent questions around compensation outside of the employer are how the Workers Compensation System will pay or How Unemployment Compensation may be a solution.
“Since the workers compensation system is unique to each of the 51 jurisdictions, the response to the issue of COVID-19 compensability will undoubtedly be varied. Almost all of the jurisdictions have a provision in their respective workers compensation acts requiring that the injury/illness arise out of and in the course of employment. There are other Act provisions that can also play into the compensability decision, such as that the injury/illness must be traceable to a point in time. As the coronavirus becomes widespread in the United States, it will be almost impossible to determine that exact moment an individual became infected and whether it was in the course and scope of employment”. (IRMI)
Employees affected by a business closure, reduction in hours, or a medically or government directed quarantine or isolation should be encouraged to file for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits if no other compensation, such as paid leave through their employers, is available to them. Employees should be aware that they cannot receive both UC benefits and paid leave, as it may result in an “overpayment” that requires them to return benefits.
Links to additional guidance and resources on these subjects in PA and NJ are below:
Similar resources are available in other states.
We understand that this is an evolving situation and further updates will be provided as information becomes available. If you have any questions, please complete the form below: