Thank you for your continued efforts to keep Alabama healthy in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. We appreciate the heroic efforts made by our Fund Members and their employees. The Healthcare Workers’ Compensation Fund (HWCF) remains committed to promptly processing claims, providing timely benefits and quickly responding to your inquiries. We consider it a privilege to serve you and your employees.
In an effort to keep the HWCF Membership informed, we want to make you aware of the following ongoing developments related to the pandemic.
- Updated COVID-19 Guidelines – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (“ADPH”) continue to modify guidelines and recommendations related to COVID-19. We recommend that you regularly check the ADPH and CDC websites to obtain their latest recommendations, found at www.alabamapublichealth.gov and www.cdc.gov, respectively. We expect that as scientists continue to learn more about the virus, the guidelines and recommendations regarding the same will continue to evolve.
- COVID-19 Vaccine and Workers’ Compensation – Certain individuals may experience side effects resulting from the COVID-19 vaccination. From a worker’s compensation standpoint, Alabama law is less than clear as to the compensability of COVID-19 vaccine-related side effects. If an employer does not mandate that employees take the vaccine, our view is that any side effects would likely not be covered by workers’ compensation. Conversely, if an employer mandates the vaccine be taken, it would be more likely that side effects might be covered by workers’ compensation. All of this is a developing area of the law and we expect that you may have questions. Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccine workers’ compensation issues.
- Legislative Update – We understand that two pieces of proposed Alabama legislation seek to prevent employers from mandating receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, both proposed bills remain pending in the Alabama Legislature. We will inform you of pertinent developments on the issue.
Again, we remain extremely grateful for you and your ongoing efforts during this challenging time. Should you have any questions or wish for us to review any particular situation, please reach out to Shannon Cole, Director of Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your assigned adjuster. We are here for you!