Workers’ Comp Available for COVID-19 in California

Executive Order N-62-20 and Your Rights

Many Californians have the luxury of working from home during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For those who do not, Governor Gavin Newsom has enacted a temporary workers’ compensation presumption with Executive Order N-62-20, signed into law on May 6, 2020.

This new presumption means that employees who contract the virus while working outside of their homes will be eligible for workers’ compensation. The system will presume all sick employees were exposed to the virus at work.

According to Newsom:

We are removing a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians, so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery. Workers’ compensation is a critical piece to reopening the state and it will help workers get the care they need to get healthy, and in turn, protect public health.”

Claims and Rebuttals

While the workers’ compensation system will presume workers contracted the virus at work, employers will have a chance to rebut, or contest, the presumption. If your employer has evidence you contracted the virus outside of the workplace, they can present this evidence to disprove your claim.

Fortunately, all claims must be addressed within 30 days, unless new evidence emerges. If an insurer fails to approve or deny a claim, the claim will automatically become compensable within 30 days.

In any case, most claims will be compensable, assuming the following are true:

  • The employee tested positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of working for an employer outside of their home.
  • The employee was at the workplace on or after March 19, 2020.
  • The workplace was not the employee’s home or residence.
  • The employee’s diagnosis was performed by a California Medical Board-licensed physician and confirmed by further testing within 30 days of the date of the diagnosis.

Unless your employer can prove that you contracted the virus somewhere else, the requirements listed above should justify a valid claim and give you access to workers’ compensation benefits.

What If My Claim is Denied?

If you filed a valid workers’ comp claim regarding a Coronavirus diagnosis, and the claim was denied, you may need to appeal.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Reed & Garcia Law, PC can help.

Call us at (310) 242-8933 to discuss your situation or tell us what happened online.

We are available 24/7 and offer free consultations. We look forward to figuring out any workers’ comp problems by your side.