Healthcare Workers and Covid-19 – What About Workers Comp?

William J. Kropach

The coronavirus known as Covid-19 has now been labeled a pandemic. One of the biggest concerns surrounding Covid-19 is the safety of healthcare workers, as they are the group of people most commonly exposed to this virus. However, at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, we want to discuss concerns our readers may have about healthcare employees receiving workers compensation if they become sick. Our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyers are here to help you secure the compensation you need.

Will Covid-19 illness be covered by workers compensation?

When working to determine whether or not Covid-19 will be covered by workers compensation insurance, we can look at past outbreaks and pandemics. However, this country has not experienced anything like this coronavirus outbreak in the history of modern workers compensation systems. This leaves employees and employers in a gray area.

If we take the closest analogous situation, influenza exposure in the workplace, this is generally not considered a workers comp issue with the exception of healthcare workers. In most cases, healthcare workers who are exposed to an illness on the job, and who later contracted the illness, are usually covered.

Workers compensation experts have even begun to postulate that insurance coverage for Covid-19 may extend beyond those in the medical field, particularly for those who are expected to work in areas where the virus is known to be. Again, we are entering a gray area concerning workers compensation laws, but the argument could be made that employers are required to provide a safe workplace for workers. Failing to take steps to protect employees in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic could leave them on the line for expenses if their employees contract the illness.

Healthcare workers cannot usually work from home

Workplaces around the country are rapidly moving towards a “work from home” system. However, this is not applicable to most medical workers. They must be physically present with their patients. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare workers can best prevent contracting Covid-19 by following proper infection prevention and control protocols. Exposure to patients who may have Covid-19 should be limited.

Any healthcare worker who believes they have been exposed to or develops Covid-19 symptoms should let their supervisor know immediately.

We are ready to help

If you are a healthcare worker, you have a right to be concerned about Covid-19. You put your health on the line every day to care for others. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our knowledgeable and experienced team believes that every healthcare worker should receive compensation for injuries or illnesses that happen due to their work activities. With Covid-19 moving rapidly through the country, we are watching to see how workers compensation insurers and employers treat employees who contract the virus. Our Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys are here to help. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 818-609-7005.

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