Governor Newsom Announces Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Workers who Contract COVID-19 During Stay at Home Order

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2020 and is filed under Uncategorized.

ARTICLE TAKEAWAYS

  • Governor Newsome signed an executive order that creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption for accessing workers’ compensation benefits applicable to Californians who must work outside of their homes during the stay at home order.
  • The Governor also signed an executive order that waives penalties for property taxes applicable to residential and small businesses paid after April 10 for taxpayers who demonstrate they have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic through May 6, 2021.
  • Since declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19 on March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom has taken several actions to benefit workers on the front lines, including paid sick leave benefits for food sector workers that are subject to a quarantine or isolation order; critical child support services for essential workers and vulnerable populations; additional weekly unemployment benefits; and needed assistance in the form of loans for small businesses and job opportunities in critical industries for workers that have been displaced by the pandemic.

Full Press Article Here

THE KV&K PERSPECTIVE

In an effort to balance the risks of contracting COVID-19 for all who report to work on-site, California will presume that any workers who contracted COVID-19 (or a related illness) did so in the course of their jobs.

The rebuttable presumption will facilitate access to workers’ compensation for medical treatment/hospital and surgery expenses, and disability benefits for those who test positive or are diagnosed with a COVID-19 related illness within 14 days of performing work at the workplace or at the employer’s instruction. The COVID-19 related illness must be diagnosed by a physician and the Order covers employees whose COVID-19 related illness/diagnosis arose on or before July 5, 2020 (within 60 days of the Order). 

Employers should be concerned that the Order does not define or limit what qualifies as a “COVID-19 related illness,” and does not provide guidance on what evidence can be used to successfully rebut the presumption. This makes the employer’s adherence to safety orders (i.e., providing face masks and gloves) absolutely critical, as those actions or inactions will surely be considered in any workers’ compensation case.

By Katya Zavala, May 14 ,2020


If you’re facing issues at your workplace, your future could be at stake. The attorneys at Katchko, Vitiello & Karikomi, PC have the knowledge and experience to protect your legal employment rights, give us a call today.