Workers’ Compensation Issues Related to COVID-19
Many people are missing work for various reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people wonder what benefits might be at their disposal to make up for lost wages. While each situation is different, receiving workers’ compensation benefits due to a COVID-19 diagnosis might be a complicated matter.
If You Cannot Work
If your employer has to close and you cannot work, it is unlikely that you will receive any workers’ compensation benefits, since your inability to work does not stem from your own illness or exposure. In this situation, seeking unemployment benefits is likely the route you should take to make up for lost wages.
However, some employers might send you home to quarantine yourself because it is suspected you were exposed to COVID-19 due to coworkers testing positive. In this case, your inability to work does stem from exposure to illness at work, so it might be possible to file a successful workers’ comp claim.
If You are Infected
If you test positive for COVID-19, you can only receive workers’ compensation benefits if you can show you contracted the virus at work. Governor Gavin Newsome is reportedly contemplating an executive order that creates a legal presumption that certain essential employees contracted the virus at work. This would increase the likelihood of workers’ compensation benefits for medical treatment and income replacement when workers have the coronavirus. Many employers and industries are in opposition to this order and presumption, and we will watch what happens and keep our clients notified of their rights.
Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Sherman Oaks
At the Employee Defense Group, a Sherman Oaks workers’ compensation attorney can assess your rights to benefits in light of the pandemic. Call 818.334.4870 or contact us online for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.