COVID-19 and Work Comp
During this time when we are all being cautious about exposure to virus, many workers must be in a work environment that puts the worker at a higher risk to exposure to the Corona virus. In these situations, three things are important between you and your employer:
- Communication– be sure you and others know what safety policies are in place for virus protection and whether co-workers may have been exposes or developed the disease, so that you can make informed decisions about your safety.
- Cooperation– Try to remain calm and follow procedures to keep you and your co-workers safe. At this time, everyone is trying to figure out the best way forward so that employees can work and stay safe.
- Causation– If you have been working or have returned to work and have valid concerns about a potential exposure and whether your employer is taking necessary steps to protect your safety, your remedy would be through the workers’ compensation system. In order to recover these types of benefits, you would need medical evidence that you have been exposed to the virus by a co-worker who has tested positive and that you have the condition. If you know you have been exposed to a co-worker or a patient, if you are a healthcare worker, who has tested positive, you have the ability to self-quarantine and receive 80 hours of pay in certain circumstances based on newly passed law.
During this time, the PA Department of Labor has been continuing to hold work comp hearings by phone and have continued to work on cases that are pending in the system and newly filed cases.
If your plant has shut down or you have been laid off from your job, you may be able to be reinstated to work comp benefits if at the time of the layoff you were on restrictions from your job due to a work injury.
There are also work comp benefits available for hearing loss, disfigurements or loss of use of fingers or body parts from a work injury and you would have three years to file a claim from the date of injury and in the case of hearing loss, withing three years of your last exposure to loud noise.
Please contact us with any questions or concerns, we are here to help! Please call 412.488.6000 or email [email protected]. Stay safe.
Know Your Rights! Protect Your Rights!