News Digest 11-13-2020


Over half of Hawaii’s workers’ comp COVID-19 claims initially denied

Nationally, employees have struggled to prove that COVID-19 is qualified as a workplace injury, according to an investigation by the nonprofit news site FairWarning. In Hawaii, more than 55 percent of 425 workers’ compensation claims initially were denied pending investigations, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Honolulu Civil Beat


Meatpacking employees workers’ comp claims being denied

Employees of the biggest meatpacking company in the world are filing COVID-related workers’ compensation claims, but they are being denied. Debbie Berkowitz, with the union-backed National Employment Law Project, says meatpackers are particularly vulnerable to infectious disease. NPR


Former police chief sues Pennsylvania university

The former head of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania police department is suing the university, various officials and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in federal court for allegations that include retaliation for filing a state workers’ compensation claim related to a shoulder injury. The complaint also alleges sex, age and disability discrimination. Indiana Gazette


Can an employer make COVID vaccinations mandatory?

Employers who implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy should expect to receive a significant number of disability and religious accommodation requests from employees. Regardless of an employer’s decision, the COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to create serious employee relations issues, with employees on opposite sides of the issue and the employer in the middle, according to Jennifer Hataway, of Butler Snow LLP. JD Supra


Want to improve performance? Take a break

By separating from the work and decompressing, there is time to recharge and fill emotional reserves, building resilience, says Jayme Purinton, founder of Blue Sky Consulting. Legal Talk Network [with audio]