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Public Policy Newsletter Article

Governor Sign Workers Comp Order Presuming COVID-19 Acquired in Workplace

  • 2020-05-21T15:00:00.000+0000
  • California
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

In action announced on Tuesday, May 6, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order creating a rebuttable presumption employees who are reporting to a workplace and become stricken with COVID-19 are entitled to California workers compensation benefits as a workplace caused condition (subject to certain criteria, such as exhausting any supplemental COVID-19 related sick leave programs the employer may have allowed).

The Order creates a “rebuttable presumption if they (an employee) tested positive for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19 and confirmed by a positive test within 14 days of performing a labor or service at a place of work after the stay at home order was issued on March 19, 2020. The presumption will stay in place for 60 days after issuance of the executive order.” This order effectively creates a window of 60 days where there is a legal presumption that an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 contracted it in the workplace for purposes of a workers compensation claim.