COVID-19 and Workers Compensation in California
On May 6, 2020 Gov. Newsom signed Executive Order N-62-20. This order created a rebuttable presumption that a COVID-19 illness arose out of employment. This order is not restricted to Public Safety personnel unlike pending Assembly and Senate Bills.
Establishing the presumption.1. The worker tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after working at a place of employment, on or after March 19, 2020.
2. The place of employment cannot be at the employee’s home but must be at the employer’s place of employment.
3. The diagnosis must be confirmed by further testing within 30 days of the initial diagnosis.
Procedures and LimitationsThe employer or their insurance carriers have 30 days within to reject the claim, as opposed to the usual 90 days.
A worker diagnosed with COVID-19 is eligible for medical treatment, hospitalization, disability, and death benefits.
Any available sick leave benefits paid in response to the COVID-19 diagnosis must first be exhausted before benefits are payable under the California Labor Code.
This order only applies to dates of injuries through 60 days of the order, or until July 5th.
Temporary Disability LimitationsTo qualify for Temporary Disability benefits an affected worker must be certified for Temporary Disability within 15 days of initial diagnosis and re-certified every 15 days.
If an injured worker tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the date of the executive order, that person must be certified within 15 days of the executive order.
CommentWorkers in California who suspect they may have had exposure to the COVID-19 should immediately seek testing in order to confirm exposure, obtain treatment, and to obtain documentation to support a potential claim for Workers' Compensation benefits.