COVID-19

Our goal is to keep you informed.

Documents, resources & other infomration you can use for your business.

Last updated 3/27/2020 11:00am

Is there business interruption coverage?

Unfortunately no, there is no business income coverage. This is the short answer. Before business income responds there must be damage to property leading to the cessation of a business. This requirement applies to business income dependent property losses (supply chain) and civil authority losses covered by business income policies. Additionally, there is a specific property exclusion applicable to viruses that may (generally will) apply. This is true of “standard” business income forms; there may be some proprietary forms that respond, but these are rare.

Answers to our most frequently asked questions HERE.

FFCRA - Family First Coronavirus Response Act information here

NEW... ThinkHR Webinar (recorded 3/19/20) - COVID-19 HR Guidance and Best Practices

Employers are facing unprecedented challenges navigating COVID-19. Over the past several days, ThinkHR has fielded hundreds of questions from HR departments across the country struggling to meet these challenges.

Kara Govro, Senior Legal Editor, addresses our most common HR questions relating to COVID-19.

During this 45-minute informational webinar, Kara shared resources and best practices on topics including work-from-home policies, FMLA and PTO.

Coronavirus and the Workplace-Compliance Issues for Employers

As the number of reported cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rise, employers are increasingly confronted with the possibility of an outbreak in the workplace.

Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees, but are also subject to a number of legal requirements protecting workers. For example, employers must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in their approach to dealing with COVID-19.

This Compliance Bulletin provides a summary of the compliance issues facing employers in this type of situation.

CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

CDC is working across the Department of Health and Human Services and across the U.S. government in the public health response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Tool developed by C12

To equip companies to strategically plan and prosper during this season of uncertainty, C12 has created a COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Tool.

The tool is designed to help you and your leadership team identify risk factors created by COVID-19 and then brainstorm how to convert those risks into short and long-term opportunities.

Use the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Tool to:

  1. Determine risk factors and the probability of each within the 5 areas of business
  2. Identify opportunity for growth and gains
  3. Collaborate on ideas to convert crisis to contingency
  4. Create action plans and assign ownership

Even in the midst of chaos, we can advance mission by recognizing the risks at hand and strategically pivoting to better serve customers, markets, and those around us in unprecedented ways. 

Disaster plan Resource

Disasters, whether natural or otherwise can hit any time and without notice. The best line of defense is offense—prepare your employees, physical office, data, systems and clients with procedures to implement when disaster strikes. Be prepared to serve without power, phone, internet and even without a physical office location.

Agency principals should work with carriers in advance to establish protocols for the claims process and document this information for staff. Frequently review the policy will help staff understand their role and serve efficiently as possible in the wake of disaster.

A good disaster plan allows you to focus on recovery and service, not searching for critical data or piecing together tools to work. Make sure the final document is easy to find by everyone on staff, from any location.

Download the Disaster Plan Resource 

Furlough VS Layoff

LAYOFF

  • Termination from employment due to lack of work to be performed
  • May be temporary or permanent
  • Eligible for Unemployment Benefits
  • No longer eligible for benefits and should be eligible for COBRA or State Continuation, if applicable

FURLOUGH

  • Reduction in scheduled hours or period of unpaid leave from work
  • Employees may return to work upon employer notification that leave has ended.
  • Ensure that the staff selection, for the furlough, is not discriminatory
  • Eligibility for benefits during a furlough will be at the discretion of your plan contract and any exceptions by the carrier during the COVID-19 concern
  • If eligible to continue coverage, employers may collect premium from employees by pre-payment, pay as you go or payment upon return.
  • Employer may decide to pay the employee share of the premium which would be eligible for applicable tax credits under the new Families First Coronavirus response Act
  • Furlough is not a COBRA qualifying event unless it results in a loss of group health coverage

How Coronavirus Could Impact your Business's Insurance

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to be a top-of-mind concern for organizations and individuals across the globe. As COVID-19 becomes increasingly widespread, it’s not only raising fears about the well-being of the general public, but it’s also disrupting business operations and creating insurance exposures. This Coverage Insights examines potential insurance exposures associated with COVID-19 and how different forms of coverage could respond.  Click here for full Coverage Insights.

Managing Multiple Layoffs

The Mass Claims program through the TWC, streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits.

 

Employer Advantages of a Mass Claim

You:

  • Can submit the layoff information before the layoff, which ensures a smooth transition for both employer and worker
  • Can establish claims more efficiently than workers who submit their own unemployment benefits claims
  • Can submit the worker’s final week of earnings, helping to ensure proper payment
  • Can submit information on severance pay or wages in lieu of notice of layoff, reducing subsequent contact by TWC
  • Are not inundated with a written notice of application for each individual who applies for unemployment benefits
  • Automatically become a party of interest to each claim filed

See the TWC Website for additional information

SBA Disaster Loan Program

SBA Disaster loan application >> HERE <<

Common FAQ regarding SBA Disaster Loans >> HERE <<

What makes an illness an occupational illness and thus compensable under Workers' Compensation?

As Chris Boggs explains on www.independentagent.com- Two tests must be satisfied before any illness or disease, including the Coronavirus, qualifies as occupational and thus compensable under workers’ compensation:

  1. The illness or disease must be occupational, meaning that it arose out of and was in the course and scope of the employment; and
  2. The illness or disease must arise out of or be caused by conditions peculiar to the work.

Whether an illness arises out of and in the course and scope of employment is a function of the employee’s activities. The simplest test toward determining whether an injury arises out of and in the course and scope of employment is to ask: Was the employee benefiting the employer when exposed to the illness or disease? Be warned, this test is subject to the interpretations and intricacies of various state laws.

Qualifying as occupational is the relatively low hurdle. The higher hurdle is whether the illness or disease is peculiar to the work. If the illness or disease is not peculiar to the work, it is not occupational and thus not compensable under workers’ compensation. An illness or disease is peculiar to the work when such a disease is found almost exclusively to workers in a certain field or there is an increased exposure to the illness or disease because of the employee’s working conditions… read more.

ThinkHR provides answers to 10 common questions for employers (and employees) navigating the Coronavirus

  • Can Employees refuse to travel to areas considered safe?
  • Can we send employees home if they are Symptomatic?
  • What if my employee discloses that a family member has COVID-19?
  • Do any leaves apply, like FMLA?
  • If an employee is out due to sickness, can we ask about symptoms?
  • What if I have a fearful employee who refuses to come to work?
  • Can we allow only certain groups of employees to work from home?
  • How do I make a telecommuting policy?
  • If we choose to close temporarily, do we need to pay employees?
  • If we close temporarily, will employees be able to file for unemployment?

All of this and so much more is available through ThinkHR.  If you do not have a login, ask your RISE365 crew member about it today!