october 28, 2020
october 22, 2020
October 19, 2020
- Hope for Companies Where COVID-19-Related Business Interruption Claims Have Been Denied Without Investigation
october 15, 2020
october 12, 2020
october 8, 2020
october 5, 2020
september 22, 2020
- California Employers Now Subject to Additional COVID-19-Related Laws Related to Cal/OSHA Reporting and Worker’s Compensation
september 21, 2020
September 11, 2020
- COVID-19-Related Paid Sick Leave Has Been Expanded in California Yet Again to All Employers with 500+ Employees
august 4, 2020
july 6, 2020
july 1, 2020
- PPP Loan Deadline May Be Extended as SBA Issues New Rules Relating to Loan Forgiveness and Eligibility
- California Looks to Pass Legislation Concerning Business Interruption Coverage Due to COVID-19
June 29, 2020
June 22, 2020
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Forms Updated and Streamlined
- Nevada Division of Insurance to Disallow Policy Exclusions Related to COVID-19
- CDI Announces New Order Regarding Workers’ Compensation Premium Savings for CA Businesses Affected by COVID-19
june 15, 2020
june 10, 2020
- Note to the SBA: Debtors in Bankruptcy Are Eligible for PPP Loans
- California Modifies the Tolling of Statutes of Limitations in Civil Cases
june 8, 2020
June 4, 2020
may 29, 2020
may 28, 2020
- House Introduces Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 in the Wake of COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
may 27, 2020
- Hoteliers Beware: a Return to Business Post-Pandemic Brings With It Potential Legal Liability
- House Contemplates Revisions to the Paycheck Protection Program
may 15, 2020
may 14, 2020
- U.S. House Democrats Introduce HEROES Act, a New $3T Stimulus Package
- SAFE Banking Act for Cannabis-Related Businesses Included in the HEROES Act
may 12, 2020
may 8, 2020
- Treasury and the SBA Issue Guidance Regarding the Employee Retention Credit
- Businesses Reopen in Los Angeles County as Stage 2 of California’s Statewide Plan Begins
- Update: Large Employers Required to Pay Coronavirus-Related Sick Leave Under New L.A. County Ordinance
may 6, 2020
- SBA Extends PPP Certification Safe Harbor to May 14
- EPLI Insurance and Employee Benefits in the Age of the Coronavirus
may 5, 2020
- Update: PPP Guidance Issued by the SBA and U.S. Treasury at Odds With the CARES Act—Michelman & Robinson Files First-of-Its-Kind Lawsuit Challenging FAQs
- NAIC Issues Business Interruption Data Call in the Wake of COVID-19
may 4, 2020
- PPP Guidance Issued by the SBA and U.S. Treasury at Odds With the CARES Act—Michelman & Robinson Files First-of-Its-Kind Lawsuit Challenging FAQs
may 1, 2020
april 29, 2020
- Planning for Your Employees' Return to the Workplace
- Los Angeles Hospitality Workers Among Those Thrown a Potential Lifeline
april 24, 2020
- Attention Cannabis Businesses: Hope May Be on the Horizon for Federal COVID-19-Related Relief
- California Department of Insurance Issues Notice Granting Tax-Filing Extension in Response to COVID-19
- SEC Approves Amendments to Nasdaq and NYSE Continued Listing Requirements Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 23, 2020
april 21, 2020
- Additional Funding Is on the Way to Resurrect the PPP
- Certifying Your PPP Loan: Proceed With Caution
april 17, 2020
april 16, 2020
- Employment in the Wake of Coronavirus: EEOC and OSHA Guidance Allows Employers to Go Where They Could Not Go Before
- New Yorkers Ordered to Stay at Home Even Longer Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
- Paycheck Protection Program Funds Exhausted
april 15, 2020
- Attention Insurers: the CDI Has Ordered You to Fairly Investigate All Business Interruption Insurance Claims Caused By the COVID-19 Outbreak
April 14, 2020
- Insurance Companies Have Been Ordered to Provide COVID-19-Related Premium Relief to Businesses and Drivers in California
- What to Do If Your New York Business Has Been Deemed Non-Essential
APRIL 13, 2020
- IP Deadlines and Fees Extended Under the CARES Act
- Employment in the Wake of Coronavirus: Reintegrating Your Workforce in the New Normal
APRIL 10, 2020
- You Successfully Applied for and Received a PPP Loan Under the CARES Act: Now What?
- Safer at Home Order in L.A. Extended to May 15
- Maintaining Your Trade Secrets During the Coronavirus Crisis
APRIL 9, 2020
april 8, 2020
- Congress Looks to Bolster the PPP With Another $250B in Funding
- U.S. Treasury Provides Further Guidance to PPP Borrowers and Lenders
- L.A. Mayor Amends COVID-19-Related Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
april 7, 2020
- Clarifying the Paycheck Protection Program: Payment of Insurance Premiums and Loan Forgiveness under the CARES Act
April 3, 2020
april 2, 2020
april 1, 2020
March 31, 2020
march 30, 2020
- Large Employers Required to Pay Coronavirus-Related Sick Leave Under New L.A. Ordinance
- Insurance Coverage Potentially Triggered by COVID-19
- Attention Insurers: CDI Orders Mandatory Call for Business Interruption Coverage Information in the Wake of COVID-19
- DOL Is Requiring Employers to Post Families First Employee Rights Notice
March 27, 2020
- A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Coronavirus-Related State Assistance Programs: Who is Giving What to Whom (Part II)
- HHS Relaxing Enforcement of HIPAA to Facilitate Sharing of Information During the COVID-19 Crisis
March 26, 2020
march 25, 2020
march 24, 2020
- Navigating the Coronavirus Pandemic: a Critical Business Review Checklist
- SBA Loans for Companies Impacted by Coronavirus
- SEC Relaxes Federal Proxy Rules for Annual Meetings
march 23, 2020
- Federal Reserve Responds Boldly to Coronavirus-Related Economic Downturn
- The Number of Jurisdictions Implementing Stay-at-Home Orders Is Increasing Exponentially
- Michelman & Robinson’s Guide to Coronavirus-Related Paid Sick Leave and Unemployment Insurance Laws in the Tri-State Area
MARCH 21, 2020
MARCH 20, 2020
- New York Governor’s PAUSE Order
- Illinois Governor’s Statewide Stay-at-Home Order
- Force Majeure Clauses in Commercial Real Estate Contracts
MARCH 19, 2020
- SEC Provides Regulatory Relief for Public Reporting Companies
- Student Loan Borrowers Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief, At Least Temporarily
- California Governor's Statewide Stay-At-Home Order
MARCH 18, 2020
- "Shelter in Place" Orders
- Telecommuting in the Age of Coronavirus
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act Just Passed by the Senate and Signed Into Law by the President
MARCH 17, 2020
- M&R Coronavirus Risk Mitigation Team: A Multi-Disciplinary Legal Team Ready To Immediately Address A Host Of Coronavirus-Related Issues for Businesses, Quickly And Holistically
MARCH 16, 2020
MARCH 5, 2020
California Employers Now Subject to Additional COVID-19-Related Laws Related to Cal/OSHA Reporting and Worker’s Compensation
The addition of even more employee-leaning laws in the Golden State continues. As Michelman & Robinson reported earlier this month, the California legislature passed—and Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law—AB 1867, giving an increased number of employees in California access to paid sick leave as it relates to the novel coronavirus pandemic through the remainder of 2020. Late last week, Governor Newsom placed his signature on two other bills: AB 685, which requires employers to report COVID-19 cases to Cal/OSHA within a prescribed period of time, and SB 1159, a law that makes worker’s compensation benefits more accessible to employees by creating a “disputable presumption” that an illness or death resulting from COVID-19 has arisen out of and in the course and scope of employment. The latter bill is likely to cause worker’s compensation premiums to skyrocket for many employers already trying to manage increased claims following pandemic-related furloughs and layoffs.
These new laws undoubtedly raise many questions for employers. Here, M&R provides answers to a few that may be top of mind.
Q. What are the specific reporting requirements mandated by AB 685?
A. The requirements set forth in AB 685 are twofold:
First, an employer must provide written notification to all of its employees (as well as the employees of any subcontractors) who were at the employer’s worksite when an individual potentially infected with the novel coronavirus was also there. Those employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 as a result must be given such notice within one business day of the employer learning about the potential exposure.
Note that the required notice under AB 685 must protect employee privacy and should not include any personally identifiable (or personal health) information. Also, the notice must include (1) information on any COVID-19 benefits the exposed employee may be entitled to, and (2) the disinfection and safety plan the employer has implemented or intends to implement in accordance with CDC guidance.
AB 685 also requires employers to report COVID-19 cases to Cal/OSHA within 48 hours of an “outbreak” as defined by the California Department of Public Health (see below). Toward that end, employers must implement a process for employees to report (1) potential exposures to COVID-19, or (2) if they have tested positive for or are having symptoms of COVID-19. Employers are also obligated to assess any employee COVID-19 case to determine whether reporting on the case is required under Cal/OSHA regulations.
For its part, Cal/OSHA has explicit authority under AB 685 to (1) prohibit entry or access to a worksite, (2) prohibit performance of an operation or process at the worksite, and (3) require posting of an imminent hazard notice if employees there have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
Q. What is considered an “outbreak”?
A. An outbreak for purposes of AB 685 exists if within 14 calendar days one of the following occurs:
- Where an employer has 100 employees or fewer at a specific place of employment, four employees test positive for COVID-19
- Where the employer has more than 100 employees at a specific place of employment, 4% of the number of employees who reported to that workplace test positive for COVID-19
- If a specific place of employment is ordered to close by a local public health department, the State Department of Public Health, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or a school superintendent due to a risk of infection with COVID-19
For the rebuttable presumption created by SB 1159 (addressed below) to apply, the employee must test positive for COVID-19 during an outbreak. If there is no outbreak, no such presumption exists.
Q. When must employers begin to abide by the mandates of AB 685?
A. AB 685 goes into effect in January 2021.
Q. How does SB 1159 impact worker’s compensation claims?
A. By virtue of SB 1159, there is now a codified rebuttable presumption that a covered worker's illness or death from COVID-19 is work-related and entitles him/her/they to worker's compensation. If the mandates of SB 1159 sound familiar, they should. Governor Newsom had previously created a similar, yet temporary, presumption back in May when he signed Executive Order N-62-20, but that EO expired on July 5. The new law, which runs through January 1, 2023, is likely to result in significantly increased worker’s compensation insurance premiums.
Q. What specifically is the presumption created by SB 1159?
A. As referenced above, SB 1159 creates a “disputable presumption” that an illness or death resulting from COVID-19 has arisen out of and in the course and scope of employment, which would mean the effected employee is entitled to workers' compensation. Pursuant to the law, it is the employer’s burden to rebut the presumption, but it can do so only with evidence discovered subsequent to the applicable investigation period.
The presumption applies to all employees who test positive during an outbreak at the employee’s specific place of employment on or after July 6 and within 14 days after the employee performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment and at the employer’s direction, but only if the employer has five or more employees.
Q. What if the employee claiming worker’s compensation benefits works remotely?
A. SB 1159’s rebuttable presumption does not apply where an employee works from home, unless that employee performs home health care services from his/her/their residence.
Q. How can an employer rebut the presumption imposed by SB 1159?
A. An employer may dispute the presumption with evidence of the following:
- Measures in place to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19 in the employee’s place of employment
- The employee’s non-occupational risks of COVID-19 infection
- Statements made by the employee
- Any other evidence normally used to dispute a work-related injury
- For workers in health care facilities, no presumption exists if the employer can establish that the employee did not come into contact with a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days
Q. When does SB 1159 take effect and how long will its rebuttable presumption last?
A. SB 1159 is effective immediately, and the rebuttable presumption created under the law will remain in place until January 2023.
Q. Are there specific claims and reporting requirements tied to SB 1159?
A. Yes. If an employee’s date of injury is before July 6, the claim administrator has 30 days to deny it, but if the date of injury is on or after July 6, the claim administrator now has 45 days to deny the claim, or the injury is presumed compensable. That being said, if the employee is “essential” as specified in the California Labor Code (e.g., a firefighter, peace officer, frontline healthcare provider or healthcare facility worker), then the 30-day denial period applies regardless of the date of injury.
In terms of reporting, when an employer “knows or reasonably should know that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19,” the employer must report certain specified information to its claims administrator within three business days, via e-mail or fax.
Of course, the labor and employment attorneys at M&R are always available to answer your specific questions, whether or not they relate to COVID-19 or the legislation discussed above.
We are working diligently to keep our clients up to date on coronavirus-related developments. Nevertheless, these developments are changing daily and, in some cases even hourly, so it is important that you make sure you are dealing with the most current information. That being said, this alert is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for guidance and counsel regarding any specific concern or situation.