COVID-19 Legal Update: New York

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Workers' Compensation Administrative board/ commission

Workers' Compensation Board


How does the state define an occupational disease?

§2 (7) "Injury" and "personal injury" mean only accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of employment and such disease or infection as may naturally and unavoidably result therefrom. The terms "injury" and "personal injury" shall not include an injury which is solely mental and is based on work related stress if such mental injury is a direct consequence of a lawful personnel decision involving a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, demotion, or termination taken in good faith by the employer. Article 3. § 37- § 48 A disease arising from employment conditions for a class of workers, with the disease occurring as a natural incident for particular occupations, distinct from and exceeding the ordinary hazards and risks of employment. To be considered an occupational disease, there must be some recognizable link between the disease and some distinctive feature of the worker's job. Disabling non-accidental injuries and illnesses arising from conditions of employment, including occupational hearing loss and 30 diseases listed under Section 3(2) of the Workers' Compensation Law. A distinguishing characteristic of occupational diseases is the lack of a clear date of accident -- so special rules are needed in OD cases to establish a date of disablement, "timely notice" requirements, etc. Minimal conditions that must be met before financial responsibility can be assigned to a claim for workers' compensation based on occupational disease. Specifically, it must be established that (a) the claimant has an occupational disease recognized by the Workers' Compensation Law; (b) the claimant has, after the onset of the disease, notified her/his employer within the time limit set by the Workers' Compensation Law for occupational diseases (two years from date of disablement or from date when claimant knew or should have known that the disease was due to the nature of the employment, whichever is greater); and (c) a causal relationship exists between work-related activities and exposure, the development of the occupational disease, and a subsequent disability. Occupational Illness: (DOL) - Any abnormal condition or disorder, other than one resulting from an occupational injury, caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment, including acute and chronic illnesses or diseases which may be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion or direct contact.


COVid-19 Specific Laws, agency declarations/ press releases, or enacted regulation?

WCB Reponse to COVID-19

Essential Business Order

DFS Requests Assurances from All Regulated DFS Entities

     March 10, 2020

WCB Suspends Original Signatures on Certain Forms

     March 16, 2020

WCB Emergency Bulletin Allowing Some Telemedicine
     March 16, 2020

Enacted Legislation: Provides Requirements for Sick Leave & Certain Employee Benefits When Employee is Subject to Mandatory/Precautionary Quarantine Due to COVID-19
     March 16, 2020

Gov. Suspends Statute of Limitations (includes litigation & filing notices of claim)
     March 20, 2020

Essential Business Guidance Definitions Suspend IMEs
     March 23, 2020

Executive Order Temporary Modifies Laws (including insurance premiums and moratorium on cancelling policies)
     March 29, 2020

WCB Memo on Claimants in the Labor Market
     April 1, 2020

WCB FAQs - includes information on waiving affidavit for IME extensions
     April 2, 2020

WCB Extends Formulary Deadline for Prescription Renewals to 1/1/21
     April 8, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on Reimbursement for COVID-19 Testing
     May 18, 2020

Enacted Legislation: Establishes COVID-19 Benefit for Public Employee Death Benefits
     May 30, 2020

WCB Notice on Personal Service on the Board
     June 1, 2020

WCB Medical Director's Bulletin on COVID-19
     June 26, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on Telemedicine (supercedes 3/16/20 rule)
     Aug. 5, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on Reimbursement of COVID-19 Testing for Work Comp Claims
     Aug. 17, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on Paid Family Leave COVID-19 Risk Adjustment Mechanism
     Aug. 25, 2020

WCB Letter on Speeding Up Resolution Process of COVID-19 Claims
     Sept. 10, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on Telemedicine during COVID-19
     Oct. 30, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on COVID-19 Testing
     Nov. 19, 2020

WCB Emergency Rule on Telemedicine during COVID-19
     Jan. 12, 2021


Court Closures & Modified Call

NYS WCB Response to COVID-19


Is the administrative court system closed or open?

Closed - working remotely.


Does this state have a shelter-in-place in order?

No - order was 3/22/2020 to 5/28/20; for all other regions phased re-opening began 5/15/20.





Last Updated: 2/1/21