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.