Leading the fight for safe and healthy workplaces

You are here

COVID-19 Workers Comp Resources

Note:  As information is rapidly changing, it’s important to check with each
individual state workers compensation program to get the latest information.

Alabama | Alaska | Arkansas | California
 |  Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Illinois | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | Nebraska | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Washington | Wisconsin | Wyoming

Federal workers compensation https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dfec/InfoFECACoverageCoronavirus.htm

Alabama
Alabama Department of Labor Workers Compensation Division

From a blog submission prepared by Mike Fish, an attorney with Fish Nelson & Holden, LLC
In Alabama, an occupational disease is defined as “a disease arising out of and in the course of employment… which is due to hazards in excess of those ordinarily incident to employment in general and is peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged but without regard to negligence or fault, if any, of the employer.”
 
Therefore, for the coronavirus to be considered compensable in Alabama, the employee would have to be able to prove that contracting it was due to hazards in excess of those ordinarily incident to employment in general and that it is peculiar to the employee’s occupation.
 
It will be difficult for an employee to show that contracting the virus resulted from a risk of employment.  The reason being that, like the flu, you face the same sort of risk when you go home or when you walk about in public.  Some state laws have presumptions for health care workers or first responders.  Alabama is not one of those states.  Without a statutory presumption in place, it would be nearly impossible to prove causation.

Questions and Answers Regarding Alabama Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19
New Jersey lawyer and nationally recognized workers’ compensation guru, John Geaney recently posted a COVID-19 Q&A on his award winning Blog site.  The questions are certainly relevant nationally and so the following are Alabama specific answers.

  1. What happens when an employer sends its employees home for several weeks out of a general concern for safety and for prevention of contagion? Must the employer pay workers’ compensation benefits?
    Answer: No, but the employee will likely be entitled to unemployment benefits.
  2. What if an employer advises an employee that he or she must be quarantined because the employee may have been exposed to someone at work who has the coronavirus?  Must the employer pay workers’ compensation benefits?
    Answer: No, because the mere possibility of an injury or occupational disease is insufficient to trigger coverage under the Act.
  3. What if the government shuts down a company for a 30-day period and the company has to send everyone home for that period of time with no work available from home. Does the employer owe workers’ compensation benefits?
    Answer:  No, but the employee will likely be entitled to unemployment benefits.
  4. What if an employee becomes worried that he has symptoms similar to that of the coronavirus and refuses to come to work? He quarantines himself for 14 days out of concern for his safety and that of fellow employees. No one at work has the virus and it is unclear where the employee may have been exposed, if there was exposure at all. Does this generate an obligation to pay workers’ compensation?
    Answer: No, because the mere possibility of an injury or occupational disease is insufficient to trigger coverage under the Act.
  5. Along the lines above, suppose the employer finds out that the HR Director’s son just returned from Italy, where the number of deaths from coronavirus have now topped those in China. The employer advises the HR Director that she must quarantine for 14 days. Are workers’ compensation benefits due?
    Answer: No, because the mere possibility of an injury or occupational disease is insufficient to trigger coverage under the Act.
  6. What if two police officers alternate use of a patrol vehicle. On Monday, Officer Chris is driving the vehicle alone and begins to experience symptoms of coronavirus later that evening, unknown to Officer Aiello, who then drives the vehicle on Tuesday alone. Later in the evening Officer Aiello finds out that Officer Chris just entered quarantine for suspected coronavirus. Officer Aiello sees her primary care physician who recommends a quarantine period for her. Officer Aiello files a first report of injury based on potential exposure to the virus in the patrol vehicle when she drove it. Is Officer Aiello entitled to payment of temporary disability benefits?
    Answer: No, because the mere possibility of an injury or occupational disease is insufficient to trigger coverage under the Act.  Further, in Alabama, an occupational disease is defined as “a disease arising out of and in the course of employment… which is due to hazards in excess of those ordinarily incident to employment in general and is peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged but without regard to negligence or fault, if any, of the employer.”  Therefore, for COVID-19 to be considered compensable in Alabama, the employee would have to be able to prove that contracting it was due to hazards in excess of those ordinarily incident to employment in general and that it is peculiar to the employee’s occupation.  It will be difficult for an employee to show that contracting the virus resulted from a risk of employment.  The reason being that, like the flu, you face the same sort of risk when you go home or when you walk about in public.  Some state laws have presumptions for health care workers or first responders.  Alabama is not one of those states.  Without a statutory presumption in place, it would be nearly impossible to prove causation.
  7. Suppose a hospital floor nurse has been working for the past month with patients who have been tested for possible coronavirus.  So far all the tests have been negative.  The nurse is diagnosed with coronavirus herself, becomes seriously ill and is hospitalized.  She files for workers’ compensation benefits for her lost time and medical bills.  Is she entitled to workers’ compensation benefits?
    Answer:   Probably not.  See answer to #6.
  8. Given that tens of thousands of employees are now working from home in Alabama due to state and federal guidelines, what if an employee gets injured at home and files a workers’ compensation claim?
    Answer:  The Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act does not specifically address telecommuter/home based workers and there are not currently any high court opinions in Alabama addressing the issue.  Courts in other states have distinguished telecommuters from individuals who may just happen to be performing work at home on a given day.  In those states, once it was established that the employee and employer entered into a telecommuting arrangement, the hazards of the home were considered to be work place hazards.  Written telecommuting agreements that dictate hours of employment, areas of the house that are considered work space, and rules concerning prohibited activity are recommended to help employers and employees know what is and is not considered work activity.

Alaska
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Workers Compensation Division

Department of Labor and Workforce Development Bulletin 20-05

* Sec. 15. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read: WORKERS' COMPENSATION PRESUMPTION OF COMPENSABILITY.

(a) Notwithstanding AS 23.30.121, 23.30.395(2), and 23.30.395(24), an employee who contracts the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is conclusively presumed to have contracted an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment if, during the public health disaster emergency declared by the governor on March 11, 2020, as extended by sec. 2 30 of this Act, the employee

(1) is employed as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic, peace officer, or health care provider;
(2) is exposed to COVID-19 in the course of employment as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic, peace officer, or health care provider; and
(3) receives a

(A) COVID-19 diagnosis by a physician;
(B) presumptive positive COVID-19 test result; or
(C) laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

(b) In this section,

(1) "emergency medical technician" has the meaning given in AS 18.08.200;
(2) "firefighter" means (A) a person employed by a state or municipal fire department or who is a member of a volunteer fire department registered with the state fire marshal; or (B) a person registered for purposes of workers' compensation with the state fire marshal as a member of a volunteer fire department;
(3) "health care provider" has the meaning given in AS 13.52.390;
(4) "paramedic" has the meaning given in AS 12.55.185;
(5) "peace officer" has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900

Arkansas
Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission

Executive Order 20-35 addresses workers’ compensation as it concerns COVID-19. Regarding employers, the Order states that requiring an employee to perform work when the employer has knowledge that within the normal course and scope of the employee’s job exposure to COVID-19 is possible or likely is not intentional conduct that would remove the employer from the protections in the Workers’ Compensation Law. The Order establishes COVID-19 as an “occupational disease” under the Workers’ Compensation Law, and excepts COVID-19 from the prohibition on compensation for ordinary diseases of life. The Order also requires an employee to prove a causal connection between employment and COVID-19 in order to recover. The Order is effective until the public health emergency is terminated.

California
California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Workers Compensation

California Labor law
California Workers Compensation Law

May 6, 2020 - Governor Newsome Newsom issued an Executive order on rebuttable  presumption of work relatedness and workers comp coverage for Covid related cases in both public and private sector. Covers employees (not gig workers or independent contractors) with COVID-19 diagnosis acquired at work outside home.

Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau Statement on Experience Modification of Workers Compensation policies:
The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California proposed  to the California Department of Insurance:
“Claims arising directly from a diagnosis of COVID-19 with an accident date on or after December 1, 2019, would be excluded from the experience rating calculations of individual employers. Since the occurrence or non-occurrence of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims incurred by an employer is unlikely to be a strong predictor of that employer’s future workers’ compensation claim costs, the inclusion of such claims in an experience modification calculation would not meet the intended goal of experience rating. …
Payments made to employees who are continuing to be paid while not engaged in any work activities would be excluded from reportable payroll. This exclusion would apply while California’s statewide stay-at-home order is in place and for up to 30 days thereafter if the employee continues not to work. Excluding this payroll recognizes the extraordinary circumstances resulting from the stay-at-home order and the fact that employees not engaged in work activities have virtually no work-related exposure. “

WCIRB Classification and Rating Committee to Consider Regulatory Changes in Response to COVID-19

  • Exclude Payments to Employees Who Continue to Be Paid While Not Working
    The Committee will review a proposal to exclude from reported payroll the payments made to employees who are continuing to be paid while not engaged in any work activities. This exclusion would apply while California’s stay-at-home order is in place and for up to 30 days thereafter if the employee continues not to work. Excluding this payroll recognizes the extraordinary circumstances resulting from the stay-at-home order and the fact that employees not engaged in work activities have virtually no work-related exposure.
  • Allow Assignment of Classification 8810 for Temporary Change in Duties
    The Committee will review a proposal to allow the assignment of Classification 8810, Clerical Office Employees, to the payroll of employees whose job duties, during California’s stay-at-home order, meet the definition of a Clerical Office Employee. This provision would apply while California’s stay-at-home order is in place and for up to 30 days thereafter if the employee continues to meet the definition of a Clerical Office Employee, but does not apply to the payroll of employees whose payroll is otherwise assignable to a standard classification that specifically includes Clerical Office Employees.
  • Exclude COVID-19 Claims from Experience Rating
    The Committee will review a proposal to exclude claims with a diagnosis of COVID-19 and an accident date on or after December 1, 2019 from the experience rating calculations of individual employers. Since the occurrence of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims are unlikely to be a strong predictor of future claim costs incurred by an employer, their inclusion in an experience modification calculation would not meet the intended goal of experience rating.

SB 1159, as amended, Hill. Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers.

Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Existing law creates a disputable presumption that specified injuries sustained in the course of employment of a specified member of law enforcement or a specified first responder arose out of and in the course of the employment.

This bill would, until an unspecified date, define “injury” for an employee to include illness or death resulting from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) under specified circumstances. The bill would create a disputable presumption, as specified, that an injury that develops or manifests itself while an employee is employed arose out of and in the course of the employment. The bill would require an employee to exhaust their paid sick leave benefits and meet specified certification requirements before receiving any temporary disability benefits or, for police officers, firefighters, and other specified government employees, a leave of absence.

Colorado
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Workers' Compensation page

SB20-216: Workers' Compensation For COVID-19 - Postponed Indefinitely
Concerning the creation of presumptions related to an essential worker who contracts COVID-19 for purposes related to workers' compensation.

Connecticut
State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission

Executive Order #7JJJ Protection of Public Health and Safety during COVID-19 Pandemic and Response - Rebuttable Presumption regarding Workers Compensation benefits related to contraction of COVID-19

Florida
Florida Division of Workers Compensation

From the Center Square, March 31, 2020



Florida has started processing workers' compensation claims from “frontline state employees” who said they contracted COVID-19 on the job, but whether that eligibility extends to “essential workers,” such as grocery store employees, remains uncertain.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis this week ordered the state’s Division of Risk Management (DRM) to review workers' compensation claims submitted by state workers “required to interact with potentially infected individuals.” There were 36 claims as of Monday.
Those workers include law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, correctional officers, health-care workers, child safety investigators and Florida National Guardsmen. The Florida League of Cities also announced last week the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust will cover municipal first responders’ COVID-19 claims.


Illinois

Illinois Workers Compensation Commission

As of 6-5-2020, HB 2455 is on the Governor's desk awaiting signature.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said the measure the statehouse passed [HB 2455] allows employers to challenge a case.

“That [COVID-19] presumption can be rebutted if that employer is following the CDC or the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines for [personal protective equipment], social distancing, and the like” Hoffman said. “So, if you’re doing the right thing, that presumption would be rebutted.”

Iowa
Iowa Division of Workers Compensation

Under the Iowa Occupational Disease Statute found in Chapter 85A, in order to constitute a compensable injury, the occupational disease must arise out of and in the course of the employment. It must have a direct causal connection with the employment following as a natural incident from an injurious exposure occasioned by the nature of the work. Iowa Code § 85A.8. It also must be incidental to the character of the business, occupation or process in which the employee was employed. The disease must appear to have its origin in a risk connected with employment and to have resulted from that risk. The disease need not be expected or foreseen and it must not follow “from a hazard to which an employee has or would have been equally exposed” outside the employment.[1]

The Iowa Supreme Court has provided some guidance regarding the establishment of causation in occupational disease and stated that to prove causation of an occupational disease, the claimant need only meet the two basic requirements imposed by the statutory definition of occupational disease: The disease must be causally related to the exposure to harmful conditions of the field of employment; and those harmful conditions must be more prevalent in the employment concerned than in everyday life or in other occupations. In the case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)[2], if a worker’s job requires close contact with sick customers or patients and a customer or patient causes a worker to become ill, the worker would likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  A primary question that should be asked at the outset of a claim for benefits in a case like this should be; “Did the nature of the worker’s employment bring the worker into direct contact with anyone known to have COVID-19?” If yes, the next question in the analysis should be, “Did the worker have an increased likelihood of contracting COVID-19 in their workplace as compared to the general public?” If yes, there would be a high likelihood of compensability. Under these circumstances, a diligent investigation should be undertaken to discover any possible alternative sources for exposure (e.g. travel history, identification of other sick family members or friends, lifestyle habits and hobbies, etc.)

Kansas
Kansas Department of Labor Workers Compensation Division

SB 1 - Died in Committee

HB 2007 - Died in Committee

HB 2018 - Died in Committee

All 3 bills would have provided rebuttable presumption for workers with COVID

Kentucky
Kentucky Department of Workers' Claims

Executive Order - State of Emergency Relating to Workers' Compensation

On April 9th, Kentucky became the first state to extend workers compensation to grocery store workers who acquire COVID-19.  Employees removed from work due to occupational COVID-19 exposure are entitled to temporary total disability payments during the quarantine period, even if the employer ultimately denies liability for the claim.

Workers must show a causal connection between the conditions under which the work was performed and COVID-19 exposure, and the removal must have been by order of a physician.

Employees entitled to these payments include grocery workers, Postal Service workers, child-care providers and state community-based service workers, as well as health care workers, first responders, corrections officers, military, activated National Guard, and shelter and crisis center workers.

The order applies to all insurers writing workers comp policies in Kentucky, as well as self-insureds in the state.

Louisiana
Louisiana WorkforceCommission - Workers Compensation Division

SB475 - Senator Glen Womack, WORKERS' COMPENSATION:  Provides relative to workers' compensation claims filed by essential workers in the workplace.

Michigan
Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity

Executive Order 2020-125 is rescinded

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did not have the authority to issue emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, including making it easier for first responders and health care workers who contract COVID-19 to obtain workers compensation benefits.

Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Workers' Compensation Division

Workers' compensation bill:  Bill language | Bill summary | Frequently asked questions (updated April 14, 2020)
Legislation creates a presumption for workers’ comp coverage for first responders and certain health and child care workers who contract COVID-19.

Effective Wednesday, April 8, 2020, this new law states that certain employees who contract COVID-19 are presumed to have an occupational disease covered by the Minnesota workers’ compensation law.

Missouri
Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Division of Workers' Compensation

EMERGENCY RULE 8 CSR 50-  5.005 Presumption of Occupational Disease for First Responders

This emergency rule creates a presumption that First Responders infected by or quarantined due to COVID-19 are deemed to have contracted a contagious or communicable occupational disease arising out of and in the course of the performance of their employment.

Nebraska
Nebraska Department of Insurance - Workers Compensation

From MVP Law:
Occupational disease is defined by statute in Nebraska, as follows:  “Occupational disease means only a disease which is due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process or employment and excludes all ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is exposed.”

Case law has added the following: “The requirement of the statute is that the cause and conditions of the disease be characteristic of and peculiar to the employment and that the disease be other than an ordinary disease of life.  The statute does not require that the disease be one which originates exclusively from the employment.  The statute means that the conditions of the employment must result in a hazard which distinguishes it in character from employment generally.”

The standard in Nebraska is as follows:  The plaintiff has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the disease was contracted in the course of and arising out of the employment, and that the disease has caused a disability.

The two factors here that favor a finding that compensation is not payable for coronavirus contracted in the workplace are “ordinary disease of life” and “exposure in excess of the general public.”  While coronavirus is new, the sheer number of those infected seems to be in favor of a finding that it is an ordinary disease.  Disease contracted in the normal workplace would seem to not exceed the general public’s exposure.

That could well be different for workers whose jobs put them at an enhanced risk for contracting the disease, such as healthcare workers.  There is a greater likelihood that benefits would be awarded in workers’ compensation in cases of workers who can prove that they contracted the disease through exposure in the workplace and the workplace exposed them to a higher concentration of the disease than other employments.

New Hampshire
NH Department of Labor Workers' Compensation Division

Issued 6-17-2020:
Emergency Order #53:
For the purpose of this Order "First Responder" shall include any individual covered by the definition of"Emergency response/public safety" worker as set forth in RSA 281-A:2 V-C, and any member ofthe New Hampshire National Guard ordered into active state service pursuant to RSA 110-B:6.

From Emergency order #34
Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 281-A:2, XI and XIII, 16 and 27, in any proceeding before the New Hampshire Department of Labor or the administratively attached Compensation Appeals Board, there shall exist a prima facie presumption that the First Responder's COVID-19 exposure and infection were occupationally related. 

New Jersey
Department of Labor and Workforce Development Workers Compensation Division

Worker Benefits, Protections and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What NJ Workers Should Know

COVID-19 Scenarios & Benefits Available

New Jersey Senate Bill 2476

The dependents of essential workers in New Jersey who die from COVID-19 in the course of employment may receive enhanced benefits. The bill has passed the NJ Senate. Essential employees include fire, police and other first responders; medical and other health care service providers; public-facing workers providing transportation or financial services; those involved in the production, preparation, storage, sale and distribution of essential goods; and other employees deemed essential in the state of emergency.

Workers compensation.com: New Jersey Benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Employees Should Know

New Mexico
Workers Compensation Administration

Executive Order 2020-025:
Professionals who provide direct care or assistance to patients infected with COVID-19 are exposed to the virus causing COVID-19 as a natural incident of their occupations and carry a far greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general public due to this significant and inevitable exposure in the workplace. Other professionals who work in environments where direct care, assistance, or housing is provided to patients with COVID-19 are also exposed to the virus causing COVID-19 as a natural incident of their occupations and carry a far greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general public due to this significant and inevitable exposure in the workplace. The New Mexico Occupational Disease Disablement Law ("Law"), NMSA 1978, §§ 52-3-1 to -60, permits workers to obtain compensation, medical care, and other benefits that are necessitated by an illness contracted through their occupation. The Law applies to the State and its employees. § 52-3-2(A). The Law defines a compensable occupational disease as "any disease peculiar to the occupation in which the employee was engaged and due to causes in excess of the ordinary hazards of employment as such." § 52-3-33. New Mexico courts have interpreted this provision to mean that, to be compensable under the Law, the disease must be a natural incident of a particular occupation and the conditions causing the disease were encountered in that employment to a degree beyond that prevailing in employment generally.

New York
NYS Workers' Compensation Board

NYS WCB Response to the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19

NY State Insurance Fund: Info on differences between WC and State Disability coverage

NYS Business Council opposes creation of Presumptive standard for Covid cases in NY

North Carolina
North Carolina Industrial Commission

From WFMY News:

A new bill would change NC workers' compensation law to assume that frontline workers who become sick with coronavirus caught the contagion while at work, allowing millions of people to more easily obtain financial benefits from their employer.

The bill generated strong pushback from more than 20 business associations, who signed onto a letter to lawmakers warning that placing the burden of proof on the employers would spell financial disaster for businesses already struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.

House Bill 1057, filed May 1, has more than 100 lawmakers listed as sponsors.

“From my perspective, I feel that it levels the playing field a bit for employees who are really getting called to serve all of us,” said Rep. Pricey Harrison a House Democrat from Guilford County who sponsored the bill.

Current North Carolina workers' compensation laws require that an injured employee applying for benefits prove that their injury, from asbestos exposure to broken bones, specifically resulted from an incident on the job.

HB 1057 would flip the script — creating a “rebuttable presumption” that certain frontline workers who contract COVID-19 specifically got the infection while on the job, and employers would have to prove that they did not. This would allow these workers to more easily obtain wage replacement and medical benefits as part of workers' compensation.


North Dakota
North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance

Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order extending worker’s compensation coverage to first responders and health care providers who contract COVID-19 on the job.

The executive order also provides up to 14 days of medical and wage replacement benefits if first responders and health care providers are quarantined. No benefits will be paid after the quarantine period has ended unless the employee tests positive for COVID-19. If the virus is contracted on the job, the employee becomes eligible for full workers’ compensation benefits just like any other compensable work injury claim.

Ohio
Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation

Ohio BWC COVID-19 FAQs

If I contract COVID-19, is it a compensable workers’ compensation claim?

A: It depends on how you contract it and the nature of your occupation. Generally, communicable dis- eases like COVID-19 are not workers’ compensation claims because people are exposed in a variety of ways, and few jobs have a hazard or risk of getting the diseases in a greater degree or a different manner than the general public. However, if you work in a job that poses a special hazard or risk and contract COVID-19 from the work exposure, BWC could allow your claim.

If I am quarantined due to COVID-19 can I receive workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits?

A: BWC can only pay compensation in an allowed claim for disability resulting from the allowed condi- tions. An executive order issued by Governor DeWine however, expands flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio’s emergency declaration period. For more information on unemployment benefits go to: the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Oklahoma
Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission

From MVP Law
In Oklahoma, occupational disease is defined under Title 85A, Section 65. While an occupational disease can be compensable and entitle a claimant to benefits, as related to coronavirus, we do have defenses.

The relevant sections of the statute are as follows:

D. 1. “Occupational disease”, as used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires, means any disease that results in disability or death and arises out of and in the course of the occupation or employment of the employee or naturally follows or unavoidably results from an injury as that term is defined in this act. A causal connection between the occupation or employment and the occupational disease shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.

2. No compensation shall be payable for any contagious or infectious disease unless contracted in the course and scope of employment.

3. No compensation shall be payable for any ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed.

F. 1. An employer shall not be liable for any compensation for an occupational disease unless: 
a. the disease is due to the nature of an employment in which the hazards of the disease actually exist and is actually incurred in the course and scope of his or her employment. This includes any disease due to or attributable to exposure to or contact with any radioactive material by an employee in the course and scope of his or her employment.

Essentially, in Oklahoma –

  • There must be a causal connection between the occupation or employment and the occupational disease shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • No compensation unless the disease was contracted in the course and scope of employment.
  • No compensation for any ordinary disease of life which the general public is exposed.
  • No liability for occupational disease unless the disease is due to the nature of employment and actually incurred in the course and scope of employment.

We anticipate the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission will handle coronavirus claims like MRSA claims and employees in healthcare settings will have an easier time proving it.  Those who do not work in settings with increased chance of exposure will have a harder time proving the infection took place in the course and scope of employment.

Oregon
Oregon Workers Compensation Division

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division COVID-19 updates

From SAIF (Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company) - Coronavirus and workers′ compensation



Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry - Workers Compensation

WORKERS' COMPENSATION (WC) BENEFITS
If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in your workplace, you may be eligible for Workers' Compensation (WC) by either:
Notifying your employer to file a typical "disease-as-injury" WC claim, which requires you to provide medical evidence that you were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Notifying your employer to file an "occupational disease" WC claim, which requires you to show that COVID-19 is occurring more in your occupation/industry than in the general population.

Claims:
All WC claims (including COVID-19) are thoroughly reviewed, and decisions are made based on the facts and merits of each claim and the law. If your COVID-19 claim is denied, you may file a petition with the WC Office of Adjudication.

Learn more about Workers' Compensation and the Injured Worker.

From Business Insurance, March 18, 2020
On Monday, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry Jerry Oleksiak announced in a statement guidance for workers who believe they were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace, advising them to notify employers to file a typical “disease-as-injury” workers compensation claim or an “occupational disease” comp claim and provide medical evidence.

Puerto Rico
Comisión Industrial de Puerto Rico

On June 1, 2020, Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Wanda Vázquez-Garced signed into law Act No. 56-2020, amending the Puerto Rico Workers' Accident Compensation Act (Act No. 45-1935) to extend workers’ compensation insurance coverage to certain employees who get infected with COVID-19 while performing their duties.

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Workers Compensation Division

H 8066 Introduced June 18, 2020
Establishes that any public safety official/enumerated employee, including essential state workers, who contract the Coronavirus (Covid-19) shall be entitled to a presumption that the infection was caused as a result of the performance of their job duties
This act would establish that any public safety official or other enumerated employee, including essential state workers, who contract the Coronavirus (Covid-19) shall be entitled to a  presumption that the infection was caused as a result of the performance of their duties and would  be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits without the loss of vacation, sick, personal or other  contractually afforded time. It would further prohibit any report of injury or claim relative to a  disability related to the Covid-19 virus or the identity of any claimant from being reported to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
 This act would take effect upon passage.

Texas
Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation

DWC Coronavirus Resources

Utah
Utah Department of Insurance - Workers Compensation

Bills enacted and signed:
HB3007 - Covid-19 Workers' Compensation Amendments for First Responders
Workers' compensation presumption for first responders

H.B. 5006 Covid-19 Workers' Compensation Modifications
Moves provisions related to coverage for first responders diagnosed with COVID-19 from the Workers' Compensation Act to the Utah Occupational Disease Act; and modifies the definition of a first responder

Vermont
Vermont Department of Labor - Workers Compensation Division

S.342 2020 As passed by the Senate and House
This bill proposes to grant the Commissioner of Labor temporary authority during a declared state of emergency related to COVID-19 to amend or waive certain requirements and deadlines under the workers’ compensation laws and to provide a presumption that certain workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are entitled to workers’ compensation for the disease.

Sec. 2. COVID-19; PRESUMPTION OF COMPENSABILITY
(a)(1) In the case of a front-line worker, disability or death resulting from COVID-19 shall be presumed to be compensable pursuant to 21 V.S.A. chapter 9, provided that the front-line worker receives a positive laboratory test for COVID-19 or a diagnosis of COVID-19 from a licensed healthcare provider between March 1, 2020 and January 15, 2021.

Washington
Washington State Department of Labor and Industry

From Governor Inslee website


The Department of Labor and Industry (L and I) changed its policy around workers’ compensation coverage for health care workers and first responders who are quarantined by a physician or public health officer.  Under the clarified policy, L and I will provide benefits to these workers during the time they’re quarantined after being exposed to COVID-19 on the job.

Workers’ compensation coverage can include medical testing, cover treatment expenses if a worker becomes ill or injured and provide time-loss payments for those who cannot work if they are sick or quarantined.

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Workers Compensation Division

Worker's Compensation COVID-19 Public Information

Wyoming
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

Enrolled 5-20-2020
SF 1002 Emergency Powers Covid 19
Any illness or communicable disease unless the risk of contracting the illness or disease is increased by the nature of the employment.  For the period beginning January 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020, if any employee in an employment sector for which coverage is provided by this act is infected with the COVID‑19 Coronavirus, it shall be presumed that the risk of contracting the illness or disease was increased by the nature of the employment

 A special thank you to Glenn Shor, Ph.D., M.P.P., Continuing Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, SafeTrec/COEH for sharing countless hours of research for this collection.

Share/Save