Choosing to mandate or strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccines could potentially have both favorable and unfavorable workers’ compensation implications, Goldberg Segalla’s Natasa Timotijevic said in an interview with Business Insurance.
Natasa, a member of the firm’s Workers’ Compensation practice based in Chicago, shared how employers could see an uptick in workers’ compensation claims from adverse reactions to inoculations. On the other hand, she discussed how a vaccine mandate could act as a supplementary defense in COVID-19 exposure claims—particularly in certain industries such as health care and long-term care—which could be important in states such as Illinois with presumption of compensability laws for workplace-acquired COVID-19.
“One of the ways that employers can rebut that presumption is demonstrating compliance with public health guidelines in place at time of exposure,” she said.
She added that, despite the risk of increased claims, a mandatory vaccination policy could be one more piece of defense for rebutting workers’ compensation claims by making sure the employer’s vaccine policy is in line with federal, state, and local guidelines on the vaccination.
“Mandatory Vaccine Policies May Have Workers’ Comp Implications,” Business Insurance, January 6, 2021
Natasa Timotijevic counsels and defends insurers, employers, and third-party administrators in a variety of workers’ compensation claims. Her experience includes handling matters relating to automobile accidents, workers’ compensation, Special Education, and employment discrimination before the Cook County Circuit Court and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.