Pond Lehocky Managing Partner Samuel H. Pond appeared via telephone as a special guest on WPHT Talk Radio 1210 AM Saturday, March 28 at 7PM. The program was hosted by Joe Dougherty Jr. and co-hosted by Joe Krause.
The entire episode can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10F_bGeNNBuXkIdFlLaCKdum_t_AMreCF/view
The episode kicked off with Krause sharing Pond Lehocky’s COVID-19 Hotline number, 267-606-4343, to ensure listeners knew where to get help with the myriad of legal questions surrounding the pandemic.
“There should be a presumption that these folks who are on the front lines of feeding us, taking care of our healthcare, delivering our food and our necessities, are protected,” Pond stated. “Now, by a piece of legislation, they are stating that if you have the virus, it’s presumed that you got it at work, so you have a lesser burden in getting benefits, getting a check while you’re out with this virus.”
Sam invited Pond Lehocky attorney’s Erica Shikunov and Michael J. Parker to join the live broadcast to touch on their areas of expertise, which includes employment law, short-term disability and long-term disability.
Shikunov, head of Pond Lehocky’s employment law practice, shared that there have been two pieces of federal legislation passed. The first being the Family’s First Coronavirus Response Act, which deals with expansions of family medical rights and Americans with Disabilities Act rights. The second being the CARES Act, which expands unemployment payments, both the amount of money you can collect on employment and for how long you can collect unemployment. It also extends unemployment to gig workers and freelancers, as well as folks who might not have a full six months of work logged with their employer.
“The most important thing you need to do if you’ve been laid off or furloughed is to get that unemployment application in right away,” Shikunov explained. “And the reason for that is, as I just mentioned, they’re expanding the protections, the amount of money you can collect for how long you can collect it, and who’s eligible. But also, these systems are getting incredibly backed up.”
Michael J. Parker, a specialized disability attorney at the firm, shared that there has been an increase in the number of Social Security disability cases because “now that some people are losing their jobs, it’s really bringing to mind the opportunity and the prospect they had to file for Social Security disability, file a claim with the federal government at the Social Security Administration. And, you know, we certainly do that at our office. We assist individuals by filing the claim for them.”
Pond closed out the night by thanking the hosts, his fellow attorneys, and most importantly the frontline workers who “get into battle mode, get into the trenches, round up the troops, and remain optimistic. They are the heroes.”
Pond is a founding and the managing partner of Pond Lehocky, one of the largest workers’ compensation and disability law firms in Pennsylvania. The former President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, Pond served for six years as treasurer of that organization’s Committee for a Better Tomorrow. He is also the chairman of the Pennsylvania Alliance. Pond has previously served in leadership roles for numerous organizations, including chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section and member of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners.