While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend life, some states are taking steps to reopen their economies. For many employers, this could be a long process filled with liability issues. To help you stay informed, here’s a roundup of what’s happening now.
States are reopening in phases. To help you keep track of what’s allowed in different areas, CNN has a running list of state-by-state plans to reopen.
Businesses are bracing for lawsuits. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, many business fear that they will be sued by employees who catch COVID-19. At least one restaurant is trying to prevent lawsuits by having employees sign a waiver, although it’s not clear if such a waiver would be enforceable.
California has made it easier to claim workers’ compensation due to COVID-19. According to Insurance Journal, eight other states (Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington) have also expanded eligibility for workers’ compensation, especially for healthcare workers and first responders.
The coronavirus may have a long-lasting impact on workplaces. According to CNBC, a Gartner survey found that many businesses expect to move at least 5 percent of their previously onsite workforce to remote positions permanently. For workers who do return to the office, social distancing and hygiene will likely remain a concern.
Remote work also raises liability issues. In addition to the cybersecurity issues, employers must also consider HR issues that are raised when workers live in another state and work from home. In one example of a possible issue, National Law Review discusses when employers might have payroll withholding obligations based on a remote worker’s home state.
*This news is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or operational advice.