• Craig Walker

Is Covid19 a Workers Compensable Issue?

Covid19 and Workers Comp

Workers Compensation is handled in various Jurisdictions.

That means your workers compensation liability and applicability is likely determined by your state or province. In New Zealand its national, in Australia its state.

Historically there has been a wide variety with some jurisdictions treating viral infections as compensable (Hawaii), while others specifically exclude them. (Arkansas). In most jurisdictions the burden of proof in a claim rests with the employee. This has changed in the USA in some states. Executive orders have made “Essential Workers” presumptive compensable. Police, Fireman, etc are covered by WC for Covid19 contraction. In California this is extended to any worker “at their place of work” during the the 90 day Governors executive order.

Canadian provinces have also issued changes.

In Ontario an employer should be aware of the new language. “a worker must show an exceptional risk associated with the specific workplace and its hazards.

In Quebec: “The worker must demonstrate that they came into contact with the virus through or in the course of their work, and this connection “must be demonstrated in a conclusive manner.”

A separate issue that our current pandemic has made much more important. If you have told your staff to work at home and they hurt themselves in their home office is it Workers Compensable? I will do some more research and address this in a later Blog.

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