The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented health crisis in the United States and here in California. Despite the continuing growing numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths, the economy is now beginning to open up. Those who have been considered essential employees should now have an easier time receiving workers’ compensation benefits if they contract the virus while they are on the job thanks to a recent executive order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.
The women and men who have worked as essential frontline workers during this ongoing crisis have truly kept this state operating. They have kept hospitals and doctor’s offices staffed, kept our banks in operation, and ensured the grocery stores were up and running each day. The central workers have ensured our trash is collected and that we can get our prescription medications.
Now, a new executive order signed by Gov. Newsom has created a time-limited rebuttable presumption that allows these essential workers to access workers’ compensation benefits if they contracted the virus.
Before this executive order was signed, the law made it fairly difficult to receive compensation for viruses that could be contracted by the general public as well, particularly because it is difficult to prove exactly where a person contracts something like a virus. Even healthcare workers have had a hard time obtaining compensation for viruses in the past unless it could be shown they likely contracted it at work.
“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,” said Gov. Newsom.
Essential workers will be able to access these benefits if they tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of performing a service or labour at their place of work after the stay at home order went into effect on March 19th.
Gov. Newsom’s Order will stay in place for 60 days from May 6.
As of this writing, there have been approximately 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and the death toll is approaching 80,000. Recent estimates show that there could be as many as 120,000 deaths due to this virus. As we move forward, it is possible that stay at home orders will be reinstated, and we may see an extension of the order allowing for workers’ compensation benefits for essential workers.
If you or somebody you love has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you believe you contracted the virus at work, please seek legal assistance immediately. If you have been deemed an essential worker in California, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, we are going to investigate your case and work to secure any coverage you are entitled to, including COVID-19-related medical bills and lost wages. We believe you deserve fair treatment during this unprecedented health crisis. When you need a Los Angeles workers compensation attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 818-609-7005.