Exposed to COVID-19 on the Job? NYS Workers’ Compensation Board Issues New Guidance

With businesses in various phases of re-opening across New York State, workers returning to job sites may wonder if those who contract COVID-19 at work are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.  New York’s Workers’ Compensation Board issued new guidance for workers that explains what individuals should do if they believe they contracted COVID-19 on the job, and…

Daycare Still Closed for the Summer? Consider Leave Options under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

As many summer camps and daycare facilities announce their continued closures during summer months, working parents and guardians may find relief from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act). The Act extends family and medical leave benefits for eligible employees who are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or…

Employees Have More Time to Take Action Regarding Health Coverage

The IRS and Department of Labor have issued new regulations, effective May 4, 2020, giving employees more time to make choices concerning their health coverage.  The goal is to minimize the chance that workers lose coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, by failing to meet existing deadlines under health plans.   The regulations provide that certain time…

U.S. Department of Labor Clarifies Worker Eligibility for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

In earlier LR What You Need to Know Now postings here and here, we discussed the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program under the federal CARES Act.  PUA provides unemployment benefits to gig workers, independent contractors, self-employed individuals and workers who have run out of regular unemployment benefits, if they can’t work because of COVID-19 related reasons listed here. On April…

Congress Prohibits Surprise Billing by Some Healthcare Providers for COVID-19 Care

Maybe it’s happened to you.  Before you make an appointment or visit the emergency room, you check to make sure that the doctor or hospital is in-network under your health plan.  Weeks later, an out-of-network doctor involved in your care bills you for the difference between the in-network rate your plan paid and the provider’s usual charge. …

Do You Need to Return to Work? Considerations for Workers as States Begin to Reopen

Governor Cuomo announced a timeline for reopening New York state, which may include allowing “low-risk” upstate businesses to open as early as May 15th. Meanwhile, states like Georgia, Colorado, and Minnesota, have already pushed ahead with reopening businesses such as restaurants and barbershops amid a patchwork of rules about what businesses were allowed to reopen….

Temperature Taking in the Workplace: New EEOC Guidelines For COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination including the Americans with Disabilities Act, updated its COVID-19 guidelines. The EEOC gave employers the right to test workers for COVID-19 before they enter the workplace. Have questions about your rights in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic? Please see…

Workplace Safety for Essential Workers: OSHA Categories of COVID-19 Risk Exposure

Are you an “essential” worker? If so, is your workplace providing you with the protection that you need during the COVID-19 outbreak? Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of employees have filed workplace safety complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has published guidance that groups workplaces into four categories of…

Good News for NJ Unemployment Applicants: System Updated in Wake of Historic COVID-19-Related Unemployment Claims

In the past four weeks, more than 718,000 New Jersey workers have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment according to the NJ Department of Labor. This historic number has overwhelmed NJ’s unemployment system and resulted in delays in processing applications. In response, NJ has implemented several changes to streamline the application process for the…

NYC Immigrant Workers Left Out of Federal Stimulus to Receive Checks from City Relief Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City would be partnering with the Open Society Foundation to create the New York City COVID-19 Immigrant Emergency Relief program. The Emergency Relief program will provide $20 million of relief directly to immigrant families in the form of a one-time, emergency relief payment similar to the stimulus…