During the Corona Virus pandemic, many Americans are still on the front lines making sure that the country continues to run. For instance, healthcare professionals, first-responders, police officers, postal workers, and transportation personnel are still working to provide essential services. These American workers are at risk of infection every day. If you become a victim infected by the Corona Virus during the course of employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation for Corona Virus infection.
The California Workers’ Compensation Act protects workers who are injured while doing their job. Workers’ compensation provides coverage for occupational injuries or illness that arise out of and in the course of employment. It is clear that workers’ compensation includes illness.
In California, employers are required to have workers compensation insurance that provides coverage for their workers if they are injured or contract an illness while on the job. California is a “no-fault” workers’ compensation state. This means that all employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits no matter if the injured employee was partially or completely at fault for their own injury. California law requires employers to pay for eligible employees’ medical treatment and wage replacement while off work recovering from their injury or illness. Additional payments may also include any permanent disability due to the illness.
As with any other work-related injury claim, there must be proof that the injury arose out of the employment. In regards to the Corona Virus pandemic, to qualify for worker’s compensation benefits, there must be proof that the illness was contracted arising out of and in the course of the employment. The worker will then be able to file a workers compensation claim with the employer.
To be clear, worker’s compensation insurance covers only illness or injury “arising out of or in the course of employment.” If there was only a chance an employee was exposed to the Corona Virus while on the job, the claim will likely be denied. The only clear case in which a worker will qualify for worker’s compensation benefits will be if the exposure was a direct result of the work. For instance, certain types of businesses have employees whose work is directly related to the Corona Virus. These include jobs that deal with laboratory testing, first-responders, medical professionals, and healthcare clinics. It is important for the employers of these types of jobs to have very precise protocols. It is the responsibility of the employer to minimize risk and identify potential exposure to the virus. Worker’s compensation will most likely be applicable to the employees who are in the direct line of attack by the virus.
If you or a loved one have been infected by the Corona Virus during the scope of employment, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney to determine if you may obtain workers compensation for Corona Virus.
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