News Digest 1-21-2021


Pennsylvania chamber criticizes plan to use workers’ comp funds for small business grant program

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry released a statement last week criticizing Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to draw from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to support his proposed small business grant program for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor announced just prior to Christmas he had initiated the transfer of $145 million in funds from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to be quickly appropriated by the state legislature. Pennsylvania Business Report


Minnesota leads Midwest in wage theft, report says

Nearly one in four employees in Minnesota’s construction industry have experienced wage theft, according to a new report. Wage theft includes those who are misclassified as independent contractors. As a result, employers don’t pay payroll tax, unemployment insurance and/or workers’ compensation contributions. The issue is not confined to the construction industry. Finance & Commerce


Liability issues lurk in remote work environment (access required)

Working from home has become a necessity for a significant percentage of the workforce, but could employers be in for a workers’ compensation surprise in the near future? Rochester Business Journal [may require registration]


10 tips when considering a mandatory workplace COVID-19 vaccination policy

In 2009, in response to the Swine Flu, or H1N1, pandemic, the EEOC issued guidance giving employers the greenlight to require flu vaccinations, so long as reasonable accommodations are provided for those employees that object to vaccination on the basis of either a disability under the ADA which prohibits that employee from safely receiving the vaccine; or sincerely held religious belief that prohibits that employee from taking the vaccine. It is likely that the EEOC will issue similar guidance to employers for the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some tips for creating and implementing your workplace’s mandatory vaccination policy. New England In-House