Get answers to your most urgent questions about COVID-19 and its impacts to employee benefits, human resources, risk management and other issues. Our page provides articles and webinars on critical topics as well as other resources.
The construction industry continues to face ongoing challenges related to supply chain delays and product availability due to COVID-19. Dodge Data & Analytics, a leading provider of commercial construction project data, recently reported that the construction materials cost index increased by 6% in the month of April alone, more than the average annual increase. Dodge also reported the anticipated timeline for return to normal stockpiled inventory could be as long as another 18-24 months. Historically, skyrocketing material costs and product shortages were addressed through contract contingency; in current market conditions, this method is proving inadequate to address the monthly cost increases of construction materials.
“If we get sued, you get sued!” Sounds warm and comforting, right? I bet you cannot wait to partner or contract with a company that already has litigation on its mind. Nevertheless, these types of statements are common, and once formalized by lawyers, are called “indemnification clauses.” They are often necessary but can be very broad and potentially catastrophic to your business.
Predictably, COVID-19 has made up a growing share of workers’ compensation claims, while other claims have dropped because of remote work, layoffs and shutdowns. In Minnesota, for example, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) reported that, since Minnesota work comp laws were amended to make it easier for designated frontline employees to file a COVID-19-related claim:
In addition to COVID-19’s deadly impact on our population, it has also hit many businesses hard. Not only have there been customer declines and governmental shut-down orders, but employers have had to manage through a myriad of COVID-related employee absences. Fortunately, hope may be on the horizon, as the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is approving vaccines for wide distribution. However, with hope comes challenge, as businesses now need to decide whether and how they will make employee vaccinations part of their COVID response planning.
Employers frequently come to our Compliance and Workplace Solutions team to help them navigate COVID-19 exposures. Let them report to work? Send them home? Make them stay home for two weeks once they get back from that political rally? Although some cases may have unique circumstances, we have compiled common scenarios and set forth options based on an organization’s risk tolerance.
Addressing race relations in the workplace can go beyond firing someone for making a racial slur at a coworker or posting racist material on Facebook. Sure, employers can tell employees, “don’t be jerks.” But employers can also actively engage in a dialogue with employees about race relations. In this article addressing social unrest and its impact on your organization, we examine why leading the messaging about race relations among your team is good for business.
As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are operating in a new normal. That may include remote workers, cleaning and protecting efforts, decreased or increased production, furloughs—all depending on the industry and sometimes region of the country. Below are some Employment Practices Liability (EPL), Directors & Officers liability (D&O), and Errors and Omissions (E&O) quick checks for businesses to review now and determine what they can do to reduce or even avoid such claims.
Minnesota is among a minority of jurisdictions that generally do not allow compensation for cases in which mental stress or stimulus produces a mental-only injury. However, Minnesota has made an exception for certain post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) for injuries on or after October 1, 2013. Since the exception went into place, employers have seen claims for so-called “mental-mental” claims increase, impacting their organization, their experience mod, and in some cases how they approach exposure to certain issues in the workplace.
NOTE: On April 27, Illinois withdrew its emergency rules on workers' compensation for essential workers who contract COVID-19. On April 8, 2020 Governor Tim Walz enacted a temporary amendment to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides that employees in certain employment classifications who contract COVID-19 are presumed to have a covered occupational disease. On Monday, April 13, 2020, Illinois Governor, JB Pritzker, announced certain essential workers who contract COVID-19 on the job will be automatically covered by workers’ compensation. On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed, and Governor Tony Evers signed into law, a COVID-19 relief bill which includes implications for worker's compensation insurance.
On March 27, 2020 President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Below is a summary of several key provisions of the more than 800-page law. However, if you are home with little to do and have already finished watching The Tiger King, feel free to peruse the law itself here.
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