News Digest 3-20-2020

Quote of the day

“Every police officer is on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic since our understanding of how the virus is transmitted is very limited; however, rural officers also find themselves playing multiple roles in their underserved communities, volunteering as firefighters and cross-training in EMS. A single deputy forced into isolation by a COVID-19 exposure can be a catastrophic staffing shortage for a small department. One facing hospitalization, critical care and a long recovery is even more disastrous.”

Kathleen Dias




Can companies be held liable when employees fall ill with coronavirus?

As employers across the country shutter operations, require employees to work remotely and limit services and business hours in an effort to combat COVID-19, they face not only an uncertain financial future but also the possibility their employees will contract coronavirus and hold them accountable for not putting proper protections in place. ABA Journal (Chicago)


Coronavirus at work: Legal questions

Employment law attorneys are swamped by calls from business owner clients, wondering what they are allowed to do in an effort to keep their employees safe and their doors open during the coronavirus pandemic. Here, two Bakersfield, California attorneys provide a global perspective to these immediate issues. Kiplinger


Pennsylvania employees hit by coronavirus can apply for benefits

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is informing residents they may be eligible for assistance if an employer cuts hours, shuts down, goes out of business, or if they have to self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. All applications will go through the Office of Unemployment Compensation; and those who think they have been exposed to coronavirus at work can file for workers’ compensation. Ellwood City Ledger


How to get unemployment, other benefits in New Jersey during coronavirus

New Jersey residents, whose employment has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, may be eligible for state benefits. They include unemployment, temporary disability and workers’ compensation. Many also are eligible to take earned sick leave hours. Burlington County Times


The risks rural police face from COVID-19

Congress has passed bills offering financial help, paid time off and resources for many US employees, but last-minute amendments gutted the clauses that would have made an actual difference for small-town police officers by excluding first responders and medical personnel. Advocates, however, are pushing back by asking that departments recognize all COVID-19 infections as a presumptive illness for workers’ compensation purposes. PoliceOne