News Digest 1-18-2021


Ohio BWC urges employers to cash pandemic relief checks

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is urging employers to cash checks that were mailed to them in December as part of COVID-19 relief. The checks have a 90-day life before stale-dating. The BWC will reissue checks after the stale date at the employer’s request, but the process will delay access to the funds. WFMJ (Youngstown, Ohio)


South Carolina first responders seek workers’ comp coverage for COVID-19

South Carolina’s emergency and frontline healthcare employees are pushing for passage of a new bill that would entitle them to workers’ compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19. WLTX [with video]


Study: COVID lockdowns may have no clear benefit vs other voluntary measures

An international study evaluating COVID-19 responses concludes mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction. The researchers used a mathematical model to compare countries that did and did not enact more restrictive lockdown orders, and determined that there was “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.” Newsweek


Attorney: New Jersey contractors should note how compliance can preserve workers’ comp immunity

A recent New Jersey state court decision gives contractors another reason they need a strong safety and OSHA compliance program: preserving workers’ compensation immunity and its protection from potentially massive liability for employee personal injuries, writes Joseph Sine of Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act has one exception to workers’ comp immunity: when the employer’s intentional wrongs caused the employee’s injury. JD Supra