News Digest 4-2-2021


Delta to stop blocking middle seats May 1

Delta Air Lines has announced it will stop blocking seats on its planes starting May 1, the last U.S. airline to end the COVID-19-era policy. Delta and other carriers have repeatedly said filtration systems and intense cleaning make it unlikely that travelers will catch COVID on a plane. In January, Southwest Airlines estimated it had an $80 million revenue boost from opening up all seats a month earlier. CNBC


Bill proposes major change to Colorado workers’ comp law

Business groups, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer and the Colorado Municipal League say a bill in the legislature could add significant costs to the workers’ compensation system and could delay the return of injured employees at a time when many companies already have had to cut staff. Denver Business Journal [may require registration]


CDC director: Data suggests vaccinated people do not carry the virus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, referring to a new CDC study of nearly 4,000 front-line employees, some vaccinated and some not, this week said data suggests fully vaccinated people don’t carry COVID-19. The CDC has concluded Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are roughly 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections in the real world, even the asymptomatic kind. Business Insider


In Indiana, intentional misclassification of construction workers causing concern

A bill in the Indiana General Assembly that would have tackled the growing issue of intentional misclassification of construction workers in order to avoid federal and state employment laws narrowly failed this legislative session, but its author promises to champion the cause again next year. The bill specified general contractors for certain projects would be jointly liable with any subcontractor or professional employer organization for penalties and unpaid taxes or deposits with a governmental entity resulting from failure to comply with any law, regulation, ordinance, or contract provision requiring licensing, bonding, insurance or self-insurance, or misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor, and would have provided a procedure for the initiation of an investigation into tax fraud. Indiana Lawyer


Louisiana contractor, employees indicted for tax fraud

A federal grand jury last week indicted a Louisiana construction company owner and two key employees on federal tax fraud charges for allegedly underreporting hundreds of thousands in wages and other compensation. In addition, all three paid some workers at the two companies in cash payments that were “off the books.” ENR Texas & Louisiana