Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Covid-19 Illness?
With many employees returning to work during the pandemic, some wonder if they will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance if they get Covid-19 while on the job. Policy is still evolving in this regard, but as it stands, coverage exists in many states for health care workers and first responders who fall ill with the disease, but not for other employees.
Whether coverage will be expanded remains to be seen, but keep in mind that infectious diseases such as the flu are not covered under workers’ compensation because it is nearly impossible to determine when and where someone contracted the illness and coverage under workers’ compensation insurance depends on whether an injury or illness resulted from the performance of an employee’s duties.
Although workers’ compensation many not be payable, if an employee becomes ill with Covid-19 because their employer is negligent – does not have the necessary personal protective equipment, does not observe social distancing, does not make an effort to disinfect according to CDC guidelines – he or she may have a personal injury claim depending on the circumstances. Protection from liability during Covid-19 is also evolving, but there is an expectation that businesses reopening do their best to provide their workers with a safe and healthful workplace.
If you have questions regarding workers’ comp for a Covid-19 illness, or any work injury or work illness, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for immediate assistance today at515.989.8529.