News Digest 5-21-2020


Flash: Presumption Estimates Slashed for Workers’ Comp

New estimates are coming in as to what the COVID-19 pandemic might cost the California workers’ comp system? Get the details here. Workers’ Comp Executive


California: ‘Delivery company’s implosion shows risk of AB5’

A California delivery start-up praised by organized labor for its use of employees rather than independent contractors has announced it plans wind down operations this summer, laying off 669 employees. The company’s implosion illuminates how the state’s now-infamous Assembly Bill 5, which severely reduces companies’ ability to use independent contractors and instead forces them to hire employees, is unworkable for the gig companies so many Americans rely on, argues Prof. Jeff Joseph of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Orange County Register


Las Vegas-area policeman gets new chance at workers’ comp

A 41-year-old Henderson, Nevada policeman who claimed his years of service worsened his progressive hearing loss will get another chance at workers’ compensation, thanks to the Nevada Court of Appeals. The city had argued he did not establish his hearing loss was caused by a series of accidents because the law would require him to submit a workers’ compensation claim for each one. Las Vegas Review-Journal


North Carolina bill could change workers’ comp during outbreak

A bipartisan North Carolina House bill covers first responders, healthcare and essential service employees; it also would put $5 million away for workers’ compensation claims filed by government employees. The bill is meeting resistance by the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, which says the rebuttable presumption would be a threat to the workers’ compensation system. WCTI


Arkansas: Workers’ comp claims related to pandemic may face long odds

An employee who catches COVID-19 at the workplace can file a workers’ compensation claim, according to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; but such a claim would be almost impossible to win, the president of the state chamber of commerce and the attorney for the Arkansas AFL-CIO say. Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette


Workplace protections apply to home offices

Suppose you’re an employee working at home instead of the office and you injure yourself while on the clock. Is that a home accident or a workplace injury? MPR News