Written by: Rayford Taylor, Esq.  It has been suggested that if an employee cannot obtain workers' compensation benefits because of COVID-19, that employee might sue the employer under the employer's liability portion of a workers' compensation policy. For purposes of this discussion, workers' compensation policies essentially consist of two parts.  Part One, known as Workers' Compensation Insurance, provides coverage to the employer for an employee who sustains a bodily injury

Written by: Denise L. Dawson, Esq. Florida has taken steps to move forward into an enlightened age of technology but may be setting itself up for increased fraud from unscrupulous actors. As recently as last month, the State’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, issued a statement on April 7, 2020 urging health insurers to take full advantage of technology and broaden the use of telemedicine. This was on the

Written by: Daniel Richardson, Esq. and Peter Skaliy, Esq. Before COVID-19, many companies were experimenting with remote work. It has now become a widespread reality. This creates unique worker’s compensation risks, even as it may decrease the likelihood of some of the more serious or even catastrophic claims. An employee’s home environment is less subject to the control of the employer, and it may be less ergonomically friendly. Employers

Written by: Rayford H. Taylor, Esq. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, has issued Directive 2020-05 to provide workers’ compensation coverage to “frontline state employees” who contract COVID-19.  Florida’s Risk Management Department provides workers’ compensation coverage to state employees.  The Risk Management Department will now have to provide workers’ compensation coverage to such workers who contract the virus.  “Frontline state employees” are defined by Directive 2020-05 as essentially law

Written by: Peter Skaily, Esq. There has been extensive literature published in the past few weeks across the United States explaining the reasons that COVID-19 is (for most, if not all, states) not a covered "accident" and "injury" under the given state's workers' compensation laws. However, on April 7, 2020, the Minnesota Legislature removed all ambiguity on whether certain groups' contraction of the COVID-19 virus is a compensable injury. Specifically,

Written by: Ann Bishop, Esq. Effective March 17, 2020, all Social Security Administration field offices were closed to the public in an effort to slow the growing rate of COVID-19 sufferers.  In response to the field office closure, the Social Security Administration is not providing information about Social Security Disability Insurance status to third parties.  For the present, to obtain information regarding SSDI status, claimants must obtain a "Social

Written by: Meredith Knight, Esq. Last week, we posted our conclusions regarding the compensability, or really, lack thereof, regarding COVID-19 in the workplace as specifically pertaining to the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act. What follows are three common scenarios employers currently experience that raise further questions about COVID-19 in the workplace. First, please review our initial post regarding the reasons why COVID-19 will almost never be compensable in Georgia. After

Written by: Meredith Knight, Esq. Over the past week, multiple questions have arisen regarding whether contracting COVID-19 is a compensable workers’ compensation event.  The answer will almost always be no.  In a few very fact-intensive cases, the answer may be yes. This article discusses the compensability of viruses in Georgia, as well as the unique position of healthcare workers, food workers, and business travel.  In addition, light duty

Written by: Peter Skaliy, Esq. In Smith v. Camarena, 835 S.E.2d 712 (Ga. Ct. App. 2019), Fabiola Zavaleta-Ramirez was an employee of a grocery store located in a shopping center with other stores, which shared a communal parking lot. Like the customers, Zavaleta-Ramirez parked her car in the communal parking lot, which was maintained by the grocery store's landlord. On February 15, 2017, Zavaleta-Ramirez finished her shift, clocked

Written by: Ann Baird Bishop, Esq. Effective July 1, 2017, the State Board of Workers' Compensation enacted Rule 205(c) in an effort to address complaints regarding claimants' difficulties in receiving prompt medical attention.  The WC-PMT procedure was enacted to allow injured workers or their lawyers to request that employers/insurers show cause why medical treatment and testing recommended by an authorized treating provider has not been authorized.  The statistics confirm