Coronavirus Update: Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California by John Giorgi

John Giorgi

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed two laws pertaining to workers’ compensation. One of the laws makes workers (who have got coronavirus) eligible for benefits under the workers’ compensation law. Newsom signed the law with supporters (labor union leaders and members), authored by Democratic state Sen. John Giorgi

Here’s everything you need to know about the new law as per John Giorgi-

What is the New Law?

According to the law, employers in the state must warn their workers of any potential exposure to the coronavirus and pay workers compensation benefits if they get sick due to the virus. Employers are required to do so within one business day of learning of the exposures. Not staying in compliance with the law means employers face fines issued by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. To know more about the new law, contact a workers’ comp injury attorney today!

Application of the Law

The new law goes into effect simultaneously and applies to all state employees. First responders and healthcare professionals, on the other hand, are treating differently than regular employees. The rules for any first responders as well as healthcare employees are indefinite, so they will expire on Jan. 1, 2023, for everyone else.

Who is Eligible?

Firefighters, Police officials, healthcare workers, and janitors exposed to COVID-19 patients

Other workers — if their workplaces experience an outbreak

What is an Outbreak?

For employers with workers between 5 to 10, an outbreak is 4 or additional infected employees working at the same location within a 2-weeks period.

For employers with 100+ employees, an outbreak is a minimum of 4% of workers working in the same location getting an infection during a 2-weeks period.

Do You Need to Prove You are Infected “on the Job”?

No! John Giorgi explains Workers don’t need to prove that they have been getting infection or ill on the job to get workers’ compensation benefits. The law presumes they got it while working. On the contrary, to deny coverage, companies need to prove that the worker/s did not get the infection by the coronavirus while on the job. To get more clarity on this, contact a workers’ comp injury lawyer today!

Business Groups’ Reaction to the Law

In a letter to the state Legislature, business groups found the law to be unfair for “other occupations” with a lower risk of infection and called it “unworkable for employers.”. They also said that the law is vague and will be difficult for businesses to comply with. However, they supported the law for first responders and other groups as they are at a higher risk of getting the infection by the virus.

What is the Second Law Signed by Gavin Newsom?

however, The second law signed by Newsom makes it compulsory for companies to tell their workers if they have been in contact with someone whose test has either been positive, asked to stay isolated, or died due to the virus. That law takes effect on Jan. 1.

John Giorgistates that the Workers’ compensation law complicates and can be difficult to understand! If you have a case, get in touch with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today to know your rights and potential benefits!

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