COVID-19 “Essential Workers”
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique circumstance in which many jobs that were not previously considered dangerous are now suddenly among the riskiest to perform. Workers deemed essential include but are not limited to: health care workers, mass transit operators, grocery store workers, and many employees in the restaurant and agricultural industries. We also assist family members and dependents obtain death benefits if they’ve lost a loved one to the virus.
California leadership and lawmakers expanded workers’ compensation benefits to essential employees so that those who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 are presumed to have contracted it as a result of and occurring in the course of their employment. A “presumption,” is a legal term that essentially shifts the burden to the defense to show it was contracted some other way. This presumption was granted by Executive Order N-62-20 and applies from March 19 – July 5, 2020 with some room for grace. There may be an extension to this time frame, and we will continue to monitor those changes. Determining if the presumption applies in your case might not be a straightforward analysis so we will work with you to investigate the timeline of events in order to determine if the presumption will apply in your case. Even if the presumption does not apply, you may still have contracted the virus on the job and we will fight for your rights to get the benefits you deserve.
Let us answer your questions.