COVID-19 is highly contagious, and you can contract it anywhere. However, your place of employment might be the most likely place where you contract the virus. Here are your legal rights if you contracted Covid from work. COVID-19 Legal Presumptions in California
Perhaps one of the most challenging things about asserting your legal rights when you get COVID-19 is proving that you got it at work. Because COVID-19 is so contagious, proving that you contracted it at work can be a considerable hurdle for workers in some situations.
Thankfully, California has three legal presumptions that help workers show that their COVID diagnosis is a work-related injury. If you can show that COVID was contracted from work, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
1. You Got COVID During a Specific Timeframe
Gavin Newson, the Governor of California, passed an executive order that creates a presumption that you got COVID at work. If you got sick during a specific timeframe, you automatically got COVID from work.
If you meet this presumption, then the burden shifts to your employer to show that you got COVID from something or someone else. This can be difficult to prove, so the executive order is beneficial for California’s workers.
2. Special Presumptions for Healthcare Workers, Firefighters, and Police Officers
The second presumption also comes from Governor Newson’s executive order, which was later made into law. This presumption applies only to healthcare workers, firefighters, and police officers. Essentially, if you work in any of these fields, you are assumed to have gotten COVID-19 from your employment.
Again, this presumption can be challenged by an employer, but it isn’t easy to overcome.
3. The Outbreak Presumption
Your COVID-19 diagnosis is presumed a work injury if there was an “outbreak” in your workplace. Under this presumption, your employer must provide workers’ compensation benefits for your diagnosis if there was an outbreak at your workplace.
An outbreak is defined as four or more people with the same employer having COVID-19 diagnosed within 14 days of each other.
The employer can still rebut this presumption, but that will be a challenge for the employer.
You can always argue that you got COVID-19 at work even if none of the presumptions apply. You must show more facts about how you got COVID and when you might have been exposed if the assumptions do not apply to you or your situation.
Michael Burgis & Associates, PC is at the forefront of the COVID-19 litigation efforts for workers in California. Learn more about your rights as a worker who has contracted COVID-19 by contacting our team. We’re here to help.