New California Laws Regarding Workers’ Comp and COVID-19
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep through the nation, many states are looking at ways to ensure that workers who contract the COVID-19 at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In California, Gov. Newsom recently signed two bills into law intended to ensure that workers can get benefits if they get sick and know when they’ve been exposed to the virus.
One of the measures makes individuals who have developed the coronavirus eligible for benefits and incorporates special provisions for first responders. Under the new law, firefighters, police, healthcare workers, and janitors who have contact with coronavirus patients will be eligible if they contract the disease.
Other workers will be eligible for benefits if there is an outbreak at their workplace. For companies with between 5 and 100 workers, an outbreak is defined as 4 or more employees testing positive at the same location within a two-week period. For companies with more than 100 employees, an outbreak is defined as 4 percent of their workforce testing positive at the same location within a two-week period. This law takes effect immediately.
The other law signed by Gov. Newsom requires companies to inform their employees if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, been ordered to isolate, or passed away because of the virus. This measure goes into effect on January 1st of next year.
Importantly, as new workers’ compensation laws come into effect, there are always issues with how insurers implement them. For this reason, anyone seeking workers’ compensation related to the coronavirus should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, you should speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. At the Employee Defense Group, we’re committed to helping workers get the benefits they are entitled to under California law. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 818.334.4870 or contact us online.