March 6, 2007
It seems that discussion of a potential bird flu outbreak is everywhere - in magazines, on television, at the family dinner table. While no one seems sure whether or when an outbreak will actually occur, the experts all agree on one thing: individuals and businesses should know the risks facing them and plan ahead. For employers, this means contemplating what a bird flu outbreak could mean for the workforce. Protecting workers' safety will obviously be every employer's chief concern. But in the event that workers do contract bird flu, companies must know whether their workers will be entitled to benefits under state workers' compensation statutes - and whether companies may be required to pay potentially crippling self-insured retentions under their workers' compensation insurance policies.