Coronavirus Update from our Risk Management Team
Information for our Business Clients:
Bottom line: financial assistance to businesses and pay, health care and unemployment benefits for employees will not be resolved until the Federal government passes legislation and states follow up with their action plans.
- Non-essential businesses are urged to close.
- Employees may or may not be eligible for unemployment compensation.
- The federal government may or may not provide funding for employers and employees.
- The US Senate is considering a $750 billion bill to raise funding for unemployment insurance, coronavirus treatment and emergency childcare assistance. The plan also includes student loan and housing payment assistance, aid to small businesses and expansion of hospital and treatment capacity.
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America:
- Listen to and follow the directions of your STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.
- IF YOU FEEL SICK, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
- IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE SICK, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
- IF SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD HAS TESTED POSITIVE for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
- IF YOU ARE AN OLDER PERSON, stay home and away from other people.
- IF YOU ARE A PERSON WITH A SERIOUS UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITION that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Administration strongly urged non-essential businesses across the state to close for at least 14 days to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The governor’s request protects employees, customers, and suppliers and limits the spread of the virus through personal contact and surfaces.
Unemployment Compensation: INFORMATION FOR PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYEES IMPACTED BY COVID-19 - https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx
Employees in Pennsylvania who are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers' Compensation benefits if:
- An employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19;
- An employer reduces an employee’s hours because of COVID-19;
- An employer tells an employee not to work because the employer feels an employee might get or spread COVID-19; or
- An employee has been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Employees exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace may be eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits. This will, in all likelihood, apply only to health-care providers.
- Hourly employees are required to be paid only for hours worked.
- Salaried (exempt from overtime) employees who choose to not work or are unable to work can use available paid leave time first and then unpaid leave in full-day increments only. Typically, salaried employees must be paid their full salaries for any week in which they are ready, willing and able to perform work. However, this regulation may not apply in the case of the current pandemic since state and federal regulators are requiring employers to close and for employees to remain home.
- US Center for Disease Control (CDC) - Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-business-response.html
- CDC - Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fhome%2Fcleaning-disinfection.html
- OSHA COVID-19: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- US Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus
- Pennsylvania Certified Safety Committees: https://www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/swif/Safety/Pages/Certified-Safety-Committee-Information.aspx