COVID-19 Pandemic: Easier Access To Workers’ Compensation In Many States
Certain states, as of late, have made it easier for employees to claim workers’ compensation during COVID-19 as a result of contracting the virus. Rather than putting the burden of proof on the employee to substantiate undeniably that they became infected on the job, it will be creatively presumed that they did. This is good news for many workers.
However, whether or not this applies specifically to your state (or your profession) should be researched rather than being automatically assumed. Below we will show some jobs/industries that are currently covered while legislators are putting the new provisions into effect. First, however, let’s take a closer examination of how this is all being put together.
Concerns Being Addressed
Under the presumption that employees contract the coronavirus as a result of being on the job, rather than seeking relief through the workers’ compensation system, the position has been taken that these workers should file a claim with the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program to seek relief.
Nonetheless, the workers’ compensation system will likely still see any number of claims by workers who feel that they have contracted the virus on the job. So, the presumptive nature of where the virus is contracted may be limited to front-line workers such as the following:
- First responders (i.e., patient care involved healthcare providers, paramedics, EMTs, fire personnel, police, etc.)
- Healthcare workers/front-line workers
- “Crucial personnel” who are required to work during the Coronavirus outbreak
- State employees who work in a position where public interaction is required (as opposed to other industry workers who have been referred to as “essential”)
Note that the above points differ slightly from state to state.
It has also been proposed the “presumption status” should only do the following:
- For the recovery of any workers’ compensation, should be offset by federal and state paid leave.
- To the extent that it’s truly occupational exposure, should apply to the provision for temporary total disability.
- Experience a duration that is limited to official orders to “stay at home”.
Presumed Exposure Applies to Specific Workers
Again, as mentioned earlier, different states have varying workers included on this list. However, here are most of the workers involved who, due to occupational exposure to the coronavirus, have been removed from work by a physician and presumed infected at work:
- During the crisis, childcare workers who are still continuing to work, and permitted to do so
- Postal Service workers
- Grocery workers
- Workers from the Department for Community Based Services
- Staff of the rape crisis center
- Child advocacy workers
- Domestic violence shelter workers
- Activated National Guard
- Corrections officers
- Fire departments
- Emergency medical services
- Law enforcement workers
Industries and Staff
Though some of these could be considered repetitive, in the following areas, personnel are considered crucial and are covered under the presumption that they contract the coronavirus if they were required to work during the pandemic:
- Funeral services
- Motels and hotels
- Critical labor union functions
- For critical industries and products, supply chain, distribution, and manufacturers
- For employees exempted by executive order, daycare centers
- Professional services
- Shelters and residential facilities
- Home-based services and care
- Essential Business and Operations supplies
- Supplies to work from home
- Restaurants for off-premises consumption
- Laundry services
- Educational institutions
- Pickup, delivery, logistics, shipping, post, and mail services
- Critical trades
- Supplies and hardware stores
- Financial institutions
- Businesses needed for transportation such as gas stations
- Media services
- Organizations that provide social services and charitable services
- Agriculture, cannabis, beverage, and food production
- Stores that sell medicine and groceries
Work with Corradino & Papa, LLC for COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Cases
In the hope that we can help pursue our clients’ claims and stay in constant contact with them, we have enabled videoconferencing and are using telecommunications systems. Rest assured, we will remain available 24/7 through this pandemic. The staff and attorneys at Corradino & Papa, LLC will continue to devotedly and steadfastly work to represent you and your rights.
We’ll do all the heavy legwork – you concentrate on staying home, staying safe, and getting better!
For free consultation, contact us today at Corradino & Papa, LLC.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.